Last week, we had two wonderful dives at San Antonio Point and Martini Cove. Pictured is an octopus with beautiful coloration, found at San Antonio Pt. With its massive bulbous head, large eyes, and eight distinctive arms, the octopus is unique for its appearance alone. But according to National Geographic, its most striking characteristic is the wide array of techniques it uses to avoid or thwart attackers. As you can see from the photo, it is able to hide in plain side. “Using a network of pigment cells and specialized muscles in its skin, the common octopus can almost instantly match the colors, patterns, and even textures of its surroundings. Predators such as sharks, eels, and dolphins swim by without even noticing it.”
If an octopus is discovered, it will release a cloud of black ink to obscure the attacker’s view, giving it time to swim away. They are generally fast swimmers, and their soft bodies can squeeze into impossibly small cracks and crevices where predators can’t follow. If all else fails, an octopus can lose an arm to escape a predator’s grasp and regrow it later with no permanent damage. They also have beaklike jaws that can deliver a nasty bite, and venomous saliva, used mainly for subduing prey.
The octopus is considered the most intelligent of all invertebrates. You can find them throughout the temperate waters in the Sea of Cortez. They can grow to about 4.3 feet in length and weigh up to 22 pounds, although averages are much smaller, like the octopus pictured.
Martini Cove had the most variety of less frequently seen fish, including large schools of Yellowtail surgeonfish and Gafftopsail pompanos, two large green morays out free swimming, three kinds of parrotfish, and more.
A huge Stripe belly puffer fish was hiding in the rocks, and when he saw us, he fled very quickly. This rare guy was one of 5 different puffers we saw at Martini Cove. And at the end of our dive here, almost right under the boat, was this beautiful Rockmover wrasse…another rare find! (pictured on right). It derives its name from its behavior of upending small stones and reef fragments in search of prey.
The water temperature is a lovely 87 degrees and amazing finds just keep continuing, so get underwater today to experience it all.
by Feliza Rios, El Mar Diving Center, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Annette Felix