|"Rebecca Kibler/Marine Photobank."|
So let's wave our tentacles in the air and celebrate the amazing cephalopod. WHOA! That's a big word!
Try saying it really fast eight times (like the eight arms of an octopus)--or ten times like the ten arms of a squid.
Members of the "Cephalopod Club" include octopus, squid and cuttlefish. If they had a bone in their back, they could not have joined this very special boneless-club.
These creatures of the deep sea are fascinating. Here are some facts from Cephalopods ofthe World, a free UN FAO illustrated fact sheet on nearly every living cephalopod.
- Cephalopods are represented in the fossil record dating back 500 million years.
- There are about 800 species of living cephalopods known to science, with many more as yet to be discovered.
- Since ancient times, cephalopods have been a recurring motif in myth, arts and literature and they remain a subject of popular culture today.
- Cephalopod are an important fishery with catches steadily increasing over the last 30 years, from about 1 million metric tonnes in 1970 to more than 3 million tonnes in 2001.
- There are no species of cephalopod currently listed on the UN endangered species. However, this is more a testament to how little we know about these animals than a true indication of their conservation needs.