National Geographic : 1971 Dec
Monster the Octopus My friend set down the jar. In the formalin solu tion I could see dozens of tiny blanket octopuses. I laughed. "You're right-no cephalopod can sting. Let me show you what happened." I placed one of the delicate creatures under the microscope. There, stuck along the base of each arm, lay a slender gelatinous string held in place by the octopus's suckers. They were sections of the stinging tentacles of the Portuguese man-of-war, a kind of jellyfish. "Young blanket octopuses collect these tentacles," I explained, "cut them to the right length, and put Undersea fight to the finish? "Not at all," laughs marine biologist William L. High. "Octopuses are so shy you've got to grab them before they jet away!" Skillfully avoiding the mollusks' powerful beaks, the scientist captures and tags "devilfish" to study their behavior (following pages). Here he wrestles a 35-pound Octopus dofleini from its anemone covered lair in Puget Sound. EKTACHROME BYNATIONALGEOGRAPHICPHOTOGRAPHER BATESLITTLEHALES© N.G .S .