I was a chef at a yacht club back in Maryland some years back. They had a large aquarium built into the wall near the bar, and because of my nonstop ceph-babbling, the head chef had taken some passing interest in the subject. After doing his AM checklist, he was at the bar waiting for the kitchen to open one morning when the aquarist stopped by for the regular upkeep and to check-out the health of the tropical freshwater species. The head chef (Mike) brought-up octopus to the aquarist, who suddenly became very excited and told him that he'd put one in the tank. When Mike mentioned that he thought they were only saltwater, the aquarist assured him up and down that such an animal did, in fact, exist. When Mike told me later what he had been told, I told him no. They do not exist. Cephs don't even like brackish water and are extraordinarily sensitive to saline levels. Nobody listened to me (just like when I tried to explain that there IS a difference between cuttlefish and squid), and one day about three weeks later, I arrived for work and was told that the aquarist had come by with an octopus in a sealed bag. According to multiple witnesses, he dumped the bag directly into the freshwater tank after submerging it - much too briefly - for the temperatures to reach a mean level. The octopus acted stunned for a few moments, then immediately attacked and killed one of the favorite fish. Then another. Then the octopus was removed and taken away, and the aquarist left, promising to pay for or replace the fish that were killed.
The two-spotted octopus common to inshore waters here in California - often popularly referred to as the California Mudflat Octopus - does live in intertidal zones, and has a much higher tolerance for salinity fluctuation and brackish conditions. I'm sure there are other varieties around the globe that live in similar zones and are similarly adjusted to life under these tough conditions, but as for a freshwater octopus? I sincerely doubt it. I wish it were true, but until a real expert comes forward with what, for me, would be an earth-shaking discovery, I don't believe in such a creature. Would be cool though. Too bad.
Maybe we could invent one, we let a octo live in a tank and for every batch of eggs that live in the tank, we add a single drop of freshwater into the tank, then we choose the stongest of the batch to live in it and we do so everytime they have eggs. Sounds interesting, right?
Erich, I too don't believe it's possible, though you know the biology of it a lot better than me. NTL, we haven't discovered every species in the world yet, and who knows what dwells deep in underground caverns etc... after all they recently found micro-organisms that eat minerals that no one dreamed they would and their dna is unique on this planet.
I wondered what happened to that poor octopus --- an aquarist should know better.
Maybe there are fresh water octopussies on Titan. :)
hmmm... looking at grimpie... aren't there some that might be that way? after all vampiroteuthis really looks like an octopus, but it acts and has traits like a squid... so aren't these unusual animals a cross between the two? oh I don't mean a "cross" as in a hybrid, I mean a species that has traits of both. I know pusses and squids don't interbreed. Man oh man it would be cool to look at evolution through a lense of time.
However, I feel silly I probably have no idea what I'm talking about.
Your right, sort of... about vampy that is. For school I was asked to do a squid report, I choose vampy, but soon found out he's neither squid nor octopus... he's in a class all his own. Cool huh? Anyway, he shows the traits, but really isn't either. What my rambling has to do with the topic, I don't know; it's just nice to insert yourself sometimes!
Vampyroteuthis is the last surviving member of the vampyromorpha, a cephalopod group that really had its heyday in the Jurassic. It is neither squid or octopus but probably stemmed from that murky period about 350 million years ago in when the earliest belemnites, teuthids and octopods were all beginning to appear.
Evolving from a ten-armed common ancestor back in the late Devonian or early Carboniferous, the different groups took the body plan in different ways. The belemnites kept their ten arms, the octopuses slowly lost an arm pair leaving them with eight. The decapodiformes (later cuttlefish, squid) converted one arm pair to tentacles. The vampyromorphs reduced an arm pair to form those long sensory filaments, but this is a different arm pair to the tentacle conversion of the squid.
One strange feature of Vampyroteuthis is that in common with many of the ancient vampyromorphs it actually has two pairs of fins. The second pair of fins are grown in its juvenile stage but are absorbed back into the body as the creature grows, developing the second pair in its adult stage. So although in most photos you will find the animal with one pair showing, it actually has two, one pair being lost as it grows.
Most of the fossil 'squid' you will occasionally find for sale, most commonly German Jurassic specimens, are actually vampyromorphs, only very distantly related to modern squid. One of the earliest vampyromorphs known, Mastigophora brevipinnis from the mid Jurassic Oxford Clays displays the eight arms and two filament structure. Another fossil vampyromorph of about the same date is Trachyteuthis which also has two pairs of fins.
Interesting group, I can see why the Vampire Squid is frequently referred to as a living fossil! As for freshwater octopuses.....nah, afraid not. That's come up here before, I'll see if I can find the original thread for you.
Nick it's nice to put a face to a name!! Do you really have blue hair? (when I was at school my teachers would've flipped if we turned up with blue hair a few tried but got suspended.......that was back in the dark ages of course!)