Australian octopuses likely to southern migration as ocean warms

By on September 30, 2014

The common Sydney octopus, also known as the gloomy octopus (Credit: Matthias Liffers, via Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

Australian scientists found octopuses could thrive in warmer waters brought on by climate change, according to a Scientific American blog post. That suggests the octopuses could become competition for native animals as they move to new environments.

Climate change can negatively impact animal habitats, however, octopuses have high reproductive success and can adapt easily to changing environments. The researchers studied 527 specimens of the common Sydney octopus because the species is steadily moving south as the oceans continue to warm.

The analysis revealed that the octopuses at the leading edge of their southern migration, despite living in waters cooler than their native range, show growth rates and other population traits that signal successful establishment.

Image: The common Sydney octopus, also known as the gloomy octopus (Credit: Matthias Liffers, via Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

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