A Very Old Octopus

There’s a very recent report of fossil Octopi having been discovered in rock! This is terribly rare, since the death of an Octopus normally results in complete disintegration of the boneless body. This is an exciting find for the paleontology communities and animal geeks like me.

Before this discovery (in 95-million year old rocks found in Lebanon) scientists only had one other set of octopus fossils to study.The early octopus family tree consists of relatives with fleshy fins along their bodies, but these recently discovered fossils look just like their modern descendants. This makes sense since octopi are the superheroes of their environment, perfectly suited to living under extremely high water pressure and able to squeeze through openings no bigger than a quarter. (Even a 600 pound monster!) Why change such a great design?

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