The name Ceph comes from cephalopod, a class of mollusks that includes the octopus and squid. The suggestion came from Carlos Maltzahn, a professor in our research group at UCSC, sometime in 2006. My memory is a bit hazy, but if memory serves the reasoning had something to do with their high level of intelligence and many-tentacled–ahem, “distributed”–physiology [insert hand waving here].
Here are some fun facts (and links).
- Cephalopods have the most complex nervous system of all the invertebrates.
- Some can fly up to 50m through the air, squirting water to help propel themselves.
- Most have a chromatophores, colored pigments on their skin that are used for camouflage. Check out this incredible video clip from Science Friday.
- Cephalopods have advanced vision, but most are color blind.
- They can detect gravity with statocysts.
- They have an ink sac that they squirt into the water to confuse predators.
- Most have no bones and can squeeze themselves through extremely small holes (search youtube for ‘octopus escape’ for some crazy videos).
Amusingly, I was searching for a story I heard a while back about an octopus at an aquarium that would sneak out of its tank to steal fish/food from a nearby tank and then return home, but ended up on this page on snopes about the prevalence of the story.