Leonard Fitzmurdle’s personal log
April 6, 2115
This most alien of creatures has no internal or external skeleton; the only hard part of its anatomy is its sharp and deadly beak. Three hearts divide the task of pumping cobalt blue blood through the body. Its skin contains a complex network of muscles, which flex and contort pigmant cells and papillae to create wild variations in the color and texture of the skin. It uses this talent primarily for camouflage, but also as a means of communicating with other octopodes.
Brain neurons extend out through its fleshy tentacles, rendering each octopoid limb capable of independent action: the central brain issues commands that the arms then carry out autonomously. Incapable of processing proprioceptive feedback, the only way the octopus knows exactly what motions it has made is by watching its own arms to see what they do.
They use tools, build shelter, break into fishing boats to steal food, and are capable of learning and remembering the solutions to intricate puzzles; yet their total lifespan is less than 6 years.
In all these respects, the so-called Klingon octopus is a typical member of the Octopoda order, no different than those found on Earth. Even its gregarious flocking behavior is less uncommon than once thought. What truly sets this species apart is its ability to sail through the air in pursuit of prey. Propelling themselves out of the water with a powerful water siphon, similar to the Japanese flying squid, Klingon octopuses use the membranes between their tentacles to catch the ocean breeze.
While in flight, they expel clouds of black ink with a unique chemical construction. When the ink interacts with the molecules of the air, it expands rapidly, thrusting the octopus forward. This provides a speed boost, and allows the octopus to change its angle of direction. With sufficient wind force behind them, these creatures can travel up to a mile above the surface of the ocean.
Excerpt from Octavio Briswald’s field notes
April 6, 2115
Sadly, subsequent research has proven Fitzmurdle right: “octopi” is not the correct plural term for a group of octopuses. I will have to come up with a new name for my tentacle-based dessert recipe.
Other mentions: Several unappetizing-looking meals on the Enterprise-D (TNG).