Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor

Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor
Picture by Justin Wyatt
To read Hilary's story buy this special book...

This magical story has a touch of the supernatural. When an injured crane is found and nursed, something happens, something magical and inspiring...

Gentle Footprints launched- AS SEEN ON TV

Gentle Footprints was officially launched Fri June 4th at the Hay Festival with guest speaker Virginia McKenna and some of the authors

Buy from Bridge House Publishing by clicking on the link BUY:


Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Animal Anthology To Raise Funds for Born Free

Bridge House Publishing announce new book coming Spring 2010. For more about Bridge House please see their website.
This book is the annual charity book for Born Free...if you want to get involved with promoting and selling this book- email me!

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Saturday, 8 May 2010


A cephalopod
The writhing octopus-
Is utterly odd
And truly marvelous.
It will give you a
Friendly wink
Then squirt you with its
Murky ink.
Its jumbo peeper is pretty piercing
It opens
To look at all of the other ocean
Its favorite meal the
Is something it will promptly
A Cephalopod-
The writhing octopus-
Is utterly odd
And truly marvelous.

M L Squier

The octopus is an amazing creature. It is a mollusc (like slugs and snails) from the cephalopod class. The cephalapods include octopuses and squids and are the most highly developed of the molluscs.

It is a master of disguise, immensely strong for its size, with its eight legs covered in suckers, its beak and its huge eyes. There are nearly 300 known species of octopus, ranging in size from a a single gram in weight to the Giant Pacific Octopus which can reach a weight well over 50kg. All octopuses are marine animals, and while most of them spend their lives on the sea floor, a minority float about in the water.

Finned octopus

Blue-ringed octopus

Octopuses are found throughout all the worlds oceans, although the Giant Pacific Octopus is thought to range along the Pacific coast of North America from Southern California, up through the coasts of Oregon, Washington, BC and Alaska, and then South along the coasts of Russia and Japan. They live in depths of water ranging from the intertidal zone down to depths of 2000m and may travel several kilometres on hunting trips.

Octopuses are one of the fastest growing animals we know of, changing from a tiny hatched egg to a multikilogram adult in the space of a couple of years (A Giant Pacific Octopus can have a growth rate of almost one percent per day). Most of them have fairly short lifespans, often less than one year. The Giant Pacific octopus is one of the longest lived, making it to an impressive four years. Their growth rate is partly determined by their efficiency as hunters and carnivores. Sadly few of them die of old age, and the average size of an adult Giant Pacific Octopus is around 15kg with a 14 foot armspan, although they can grow to a much larger size.

Octopuses have many specialised characteristics. Most of them can change the colour and texture of their skin to merge with their environment. All of them have three hearts, pumping pale blue blood around their bodies and Giant Pacifics have two gills. The most visible of their specialised characteristics are their eight arms. and these have two rows of suckers, which have several functions. They are used for both movement and for sensing prey. The suckers can be amazingly strong, and if an octopus gets a firm grip on something it doesn't want to move from, then there is small chance of removing it.

Tomorrow I'll talk about octopus relations with man.....

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