Undergraduate Studies Octopus in Puget Sound

Scholar Report

2019 Undergraduate Marine Research Internship 

Sponsored by Drs. Morra and Dudzinski

Undergraduate Studies Octopus in Puget Sound

Submitted By Maggie MacMahon

I was fortunate enough to receive the Undergraduate Marine Research Internship from the Women Divers Hall of Fame which gave me the opportunity to study a newly discovered species of octopus in the Puget Sound of Washington at Rosario Beach Marine Laboratory in Anacortes, WA. Muusoctopus leioderma is a nocturnal, deep-sea species that was discovered burrowing in the mud flats of Burrows Bay, WA. Only two studies have been conducted on this octopus, and I wanted to find out more about its specific diet preferences and see if diet was related to its migration to shallower waters. I had an amazing summer full of night diving, sieving through mud, labeling prey with stable isotopes, playing with octopuses, and discovering very interesting insights about the ecology of this octopus. If you are interested in the findings, please read my report! I plan on editing it more this summer and submitting it for publication in 2021! Thank you so much for this opportunity, I have grown so much more as a diver, scientist and person because of this internship!