Top Shot: Meet the Kraken

Top Shot features the photo with the most votes from the previous day’s Daily Dozen, 12 photos selected by the Your Shot editors. The photo our community has voted as their favorite is showcased on the @natgeoyourshot Instagram account. Click here to vote for tomorrow’s Top Shot.

“During a dive, a huge octopus, annoyed by my presence, tried to take away my camera,” writes Your Shot photographer Guerino Salvatore. “I did not let myself be intimidated and I took a couple of shots. This is one of those shots.” Photograph by Guerino Salvatore



Octopus Eyes Are Crazier Than We Imagined

by Maddie Stone

The latest fascinating cephalopod insights come to us from a
father/son team of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley
and Harvard University, who’ve learned that weirdly-shaped pupils may
allow cephalopods to distinguish colors differently from any other
animals we know of. The discovery is published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences.

Boring animals like humans and birds see color using a combination of
light-receptive cone cells, each of which contains pigments that are
sensitive to a different part of the visual spectrum. It’s only by
combining information from different cone cells that colors can be
properly distinguished. Hence, when a person lacks a particular type of
cone, he’s considered colorblind.

Cephalopods only have a single type of light receptor, which means
they should not be able to distinguish color at all. And yet, many
octopuses, squids and cuttlefish have color-changing skin that’s used
for elaborate camouflage ruses and courtship rituals. Clearly, these
colorblind animals have become masters of color manipulation. How? …

(read more: Gizmodo)

photographs: NOAA,
Roy Caldwell, and Klaus Stiefel