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Stories by Katherine Harmon

Evolution

Octopuses Survive Sub-Zero Temps Thanks to Specialized Blue Blood

Octopuses' oddities run deep—right down to their blue-hued blood. And new research shows how genetic alterations in this odd-colored blood have helped the octopus colonize the world's wide oceans—from the deep, freezing Antarctic to the warm equatorial tropics.The iron-based protein (hemoglobin) that carries oxygen in the blood for us red-blooded vertebrates becomes ineffective when faced with low-oxygen levels...

July 13, 2013 — Katherine Harmon
Evolution

Unusual Offshore Octopods: The See-Through "Glass" Octopus [Video]

Octopuses that live in the deep open ocean are difficult enough to find. But try locating a "glass" octopus, which is nearly transparent. Floating in the dim midwaters, this gelatinous octopod looks almost like a be-suckered jellyfish.Rather than camouflaging like most known octopus species, the Vitreledonella richardi has taken this alternative approach to hide from potential predators—and perhaps from prey as well...

May 18, 2013 — Katherine Harmon
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