brown spotted octopus blending in with its background
Steroids May Explain Octopuses’ Self-Starvation
Two glands increase steroid production after female California two-spot octopuses mate, a study finds. Those hormones may be responsible for the animals’ self-destructive behavior.
ABOVE: © ISTOCK.COM, Gerald Corsi
Steroids May Explain Octopuses’ Self-Starvation
Steroids May Explain Octopuses’ Self-Starvation

Two glands increase steroid production after female California two-spot octopuses mate, a study finds. Those hormones may be responsible for the animals’ self-destructive behavior.

Two glands increase steroid production after female California two-spot octopuses mate, a study finds. Those hormones may be responsible for the animals’ self-destructive behavior.

ABOVE: © ISTOCK.COM, Gerald Corsi

octopus

a Hawaiian bobtail squid (Euprymna scolopes) resting on a reflective surface
Reshuffled Genomes May Explain Cephalopods’ Smarts
Sophie Fessl | May 13, 2022
In two related studies, researchers describe huge chromosomal rearrangements and about 500 novel gene clusters in the octopus, squid, and cuttlefish genomes, which they say could help explain how they evolved their extraordinary brains.
Drawing of white squid-like animal in blue water
Ten-Limbed Octopus Ancestor Described, Named After Biden
Natalia Mesa | Mar 10, 2022
Octopuses were around 82 million years earlier than scientists previously thought—and had two extra limbs at the time.
The Brain Inside Out: Mapping the Nervous System Wiring
The Brain Inside Out: Mapping the Nervous System's Wiring
The Scientist Creative Services Team | Jan 25, 2022
An expert panel will describe their efforts to chart billions of neuronal connections and discuss how this data provides unparalleled insight into neuronal cell biology, signal processing, and behavior.
octopus blue
What Scientists Learned by Putting Octopuses in MRI Machines
Chloe Tenn | Jan 20, 2022
The size and complexity of cephalopod brain structures differ depending on the habitats the creatures occupy, a study finds.
Cuttlefish, cephalopod, mollusk, mollusca, animal behavior, marshmallow test, cognition, intelligence, evolution
Cuttlefish Delay Gratification, a Sign of Smarts
Asher Jones | Mar 5, 2021
The cephalopods resisted temptation for up to 130 seconds to earn their favorite food, hinting at sophisticated cognitive abilities such as planning for the future.
Octopod Sailors, 300 BC–present
Jef Akst | Nov 1, 2020
Lore has always surrounded argonauts, pelagic octopuses that build shells and travel the seas.
Slideshow: Images from The World Beneath
Richard Smith | Nov 5, 2019
See a world of undersea splendor through the lens of Richard Smith.
Octopuses On Ecstasy Reveal Commonalities with Humans
Shawna Williams | Sep 21, 2018
Just as in people, the drug stimulates the animals to behave more socially.
Image of the Day: Dumbo Octopus Hatchling
The Scientist Staff, The Scientist Staff | Feb 21, 2018
The baby cephalopod looks and behaves like an adult from the moment it emerges from the egg.
Behavior Brief
Catherine Offord | Feb 11, 2016
A round-up of recent discoveries in behavior research
Genome Digest
Amanda B. Keener | Aug 17, 2015
What researchers are learning as they sequence, map, and decode species’ genomes
Light Sensors in Cephalopod Skin
Kerry Grens | May 21, 2015
Squid, cuttlefish, and octopuses possess vision machinery in their skin.
Behavior Brief
Jenny Rood | May 21, 2015
A round-up of recent discoveries in behavior research
Obscured Like an Octopus
Jyoti Madhusoodanan | Aug 20, 2014
Cephalopod skin inspires engineers to design sheets of adaptive camouflage sensors. 
Cephalopod Coddling
Jyoti Madhusoodanan | Aug 1, 2014
Deep-sea octopus has the longest-known brooding period known for any animal species.
Week in Review: May 12–16
Tracy Vence | May 16, 2014
Antidepressant could prevent Alzheimer’s plaques; 12,000-year-old human skeleton sequenced; disentangling the mystery of octopus arms; taking a look at the ocular microbiome
How the Octopus Keeps Its Arms Straight
Sandhya Sekar | May 15, 2014
Researchers uncover a self-recognition mechanism that prevents octopus limbs from becoming entangled, despite their powerful suction.
Cephalopod-Inspired Robot
Jef Akst | Aug 17, 2012
A color-changing machine mimics the rubbery body and flexible movements of octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish.
Capsule Reviews
Bob Grant | May 1, 2012
Masters of the Planet, Learning from the Octopus, Darwin’s Devices, and Psychology’s Ghosts