The Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus

Links To A Better Tomorrow

Cephalopods In General:

Conservation Organizations:

  • World Conservation Union — An international organization whose mission is "To influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable."
  • The Wildlife Fund — The WWF works to preserve genetic, species, and ecosystem diversity throughout the world.
  • UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre — An office of the UN that provides information for policy and action to conserve the living world.
  • Green Press Initiative — A non-profit program aimed at encouraging book publishers to use recycled paper instead of cutting down tree octopus forests and using their pulped homes to print anti-tree-octopus propaganda (also known as "textbooks", see FAQ).

Other Animals Of Interest:

Below are some other animals that are endangered, elusive, or whose current existence is in question. Much like the tree octopus, these species often do not get the conservation attention that they deserve. Students are invited to research the links and decide if they would like to take up the cause of any of these creatures.

  • The Australian Drop BearThylarctos plummetus is a large, arboreal, predatory marsupial related to the Koala that ambushes prey by dropping on it from the forest canopy.
  • Coconut Crab — This hermit crab, Birgus latro, is the world's largest terrestrial arthropod. It lives in the costal forests of Indo-Pacific islands, where it spends the day sleeping in burrows and the nights climbing palm trees looking for coconuts to crack open with it's mighty claws. It's also rumored to steal things from people and lurk on trashcans.
  • Dwarf Orca — Rare miniature killer whale sometimes seen in Cascadian waters. Now being bred as a family pet!
  • Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods — A 1911 book by William T. Cox that lists little-known animals, most now extinct, discovered by lumberjacks in the wilds of North America.
  • Flying Squid — Squid species in the Ommastrephidae family are known for their ability to glide through the air just above the open ocean, using their fins and stretched arm membranes as wings. Their numbers have been dropping due to over-fishing.
  • Fur-Bearing Trout — Also sometimes called Beaver Trout, these species of the Artikdander genus can be found in the chilly streams and rivers throughout the northern regions of North America.
  • Giant Palouse Earthworm — This threatened earthworm (Driloleirus americanus) is native to the Palouse prairies of Washington and Idaho. They can grow up to three feet in length, are pinkish-white, and smell of lilies.
  • Mangrove Killifish — This unique fish spends several months out of the year living above water in the trees of mangrove swamps.
  • Maranjandu Tree-Climbing Crab — These newly-discovered, long-legged, shy crustaceans (Kani maranjandu) live in the canopies of tall trees in the Western Ghats range of Southern India, where their geographic isolation and dependence on water-filled tree-hollows could put the species at risk.
  • Mayfly SquidFons volatilis is a freshwater squid found in the Everglades that shoots insect prey out of the air with jets of water and is celebrated during the annual Festival of the Freshwater Squid in Sebring, Florida.
  • Mountain Beaver — Not a true beaver, this species of primitive rodent (Aplodontia rufa) is considered a living fossil — the sole survivor of its family, Aplodontiidae. Also contrary to their name, they range only as high as the tree line in the mountains of Cascadia, preferring forest burrows. They have opposable thumbs and are also called "boomers".
  • Mountain Walrus — Another endangered Northwest creature that needs our help. (Link is to mirror. Also, see the Mountain Walrus Foundation for some photos.)
  • Pacific Northwest Jumping-Slugs — These little-understood gastropods of the genus Hemphillia, including the threatened Dromedary Jumping-Slug of the Olympic Peninsula, protect themselves from predation by jumping to safety.
  • Prairie Crayfish — Once great herds of grassland crayfish (Procambarus gracilis) roamed the American prairies, but then Cajun immigrants hunted them until only those tasty crustaceans that tunneled deep underground survived.
  • The Red Crabs of Christmas Island — Once every year, 120 million of these forest crabs migrate en masse from their inland burrows to the sea to spawn. Along the way, over a million are crushed by traffic and many die of dehydration crossing deforested land. The offspring of those that survive then have to contend with super-colonies of yellow crazy ants, introduced to the island by the thoughtless actions of Man.
  • Rock Nest Monster — Known only from its rocky nests and porcelain-like eggs, Cryptogorgo petronidus is so endangered that existential environmentalists wonder if it ever existed at all.
  • Sabertooth Salmon — The 3 meter (10 foot) long Smilodonichthys rastrosus once prowled the shores and rivers of Cascadia, attacking Cretaceous octopus swimming in the waters. Could escaping this menace have been the impetus for arboreal octopus evolution? (Artistic reconstruction by Ray Troll.)
  • Sea Wolves (or Coastal Wolves) — A species of Pacific Northwest swimming wolf — related to, but genetically distinct from, the mainland timber-wolf — living along the coast of Vancouver Island, from whence they swim out into the Salish Sea to hunt salmon, seals, and barnacles with their specially adapted teeth and immune systems.
  • Snouters — Species of the order Rhinogradentia that inhabited the Pacific archipelago of Hy-yi-yi before their islands sank due to nearby nuclear testing. They were noted for their unique nose-like appendage called a nasorium, which was adapted for use in many niches as the founding species radiated throughout the islands. Although now considered extinct, rumors persist that some remnants may have rafted to other islands in the region.
  • Tree Goats — Moroccan tree goats frolic in the branches of the argan tree, eating its fruit. Farmers gather the partially digested argan seeds from the goats' droppings to produce argan oil, used in food and cosmetics.
  • Tree Kangaroo — These fuzzy arboreal macropods of the genus Dendrolagus spend their days hopping from tree to tree in the tropical rainforests of Australia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.
  • Yeti Crab — This crustacean (Kiwa hirsuta), found near mysterious Easter Island, protects itself against the frigid waters with a silky covering of blond fur on its arms and legs.