CARIBBEAN REEF OCTOPUS & KICK ‘EM JENNY
The Caribbean reef octopus (Octopus briareus) lives in warm waters around coral reef environments and grassy and rocky sea beds. A typical eight-legged octopus with a large mantle, it changes color and texture to blend into its surroundings, using specialised skin cells known as chromatophores. Its color range is very large; it can change from crimson to green, and bumpy to smooth. It weighs around 1.5 kg. They feed on crabs, shrimp, lobsters, polychaetes and a variety of fish. It is a nocturnal species which only hunts at night.
It lives in hidden, rocky lairs that are difficult to locate, usually created in shallow warm waters. O. briareus is not a social animal, and stays at a safe distance from other octopuses of the same species, except for mating. If faced with a predator, a Caribbean reef octopus, like most other octopuses, sucks up a volume of water then expels it quickly in the form of a jet to propel itself away. To further deter predators, it can eject ink to mask its escape. This octopus does not live in its lair for its entire life; instead, it moves often except when caring for eggs or young.
Kick ’em Jenny is an active submarine volcano or seamount on the Caribbean Sea floor, located 8 km north of the island of Grenada. It rises 1,300 m above the sea floor on the steep inner western slope of the Lesser Antilles ridge. The South American tectonic plate is subducting the Caribbean tectonic plate to the east of this ridge and under the Lesser Antilles island arc.