Squid And Octopus Population On The Rise

First Posted: May 24, 2016 04:00 AM EDT

Cthulhu's little minions are getting ready to take over the world. Not really, but cephalopods like squid, octopus, and other sea animals have increased their population over the past six decades, despite climate change and pollution that caused most other marine populations to decrease.

According to a study published in Current Biology, the ocean may be becoming a difficult place for marine species, but the empty ecology is good for the octopus and its cousins.

Zoe Doubleday, author of the study from the University of Adelaide said in a statement, "Cephalopods are often called 'weeds of the sea' as they have a unique set of biological traits, including rapid growth, short lifespans and flexible development. These allow them to adapt to changing environmental conditions more quickly than many other marine species, which suggests that they may be benefiting from a changing ocean environment."

The Washington Post noted that the researchers analyzed the rate at which cephalopods have shown up in fishing catches for six decades - their study included 35 species or genera from six fifferent families, and found that as a whole, the group has in fact been thriving, unlike other sea animals.

The study also did a global-scale database to check if populations are indeed increasing, and it seems that cephalods - including Australian cuttlefish that they feared were on the decline.

The increase in cephalopod population may sound like a good thing - and if you fish for them, it is especially great. However, Benjamin Halpern of the University of California thinks that people should be worried - and not because Cthulhu is out to get you. He said, When we change the oceans this much, we move things into a new state - one that we know much less about. We might have more squid on our plates in the short run. What are we risking losing in the long run?"

Nobody knows exactly what these predators will do to the ocean, and while that may be scary, scientists also believe that their population boom is expected to rise and fall, so right now, there's nothing about their growing number that people should worry about.

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