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Octopus in a cup | Lembeh Video

December 21, 2020

[Posted by Chuck Almdale]

I have a special affection for octopuses, dating back to my SCUBA days and encounters with them down at White’s Point, south of San Pedro on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. They are curious little creatures, quite beautiful in their native habitats where they change colors and patterns in a fraction of a second. Their “brain” has about 500 million neurons – as many neurons as your family dog. About two thirds are located in its arms, and the rest is wrapped around the esophagus in the head. They can get prey out of glass bottles by uncorking them or from glass jars by unscrewing – or even pulling off – the lids. They can also escape from aquariums and walk hundreds of yards of dry land to get back to the sea. It greatly pains me to see people catch them to cut them up for fish bait.

From Pall Sigurdsson:

We spent a whole dive and most of our air saving this octopus from what was bound to be a cruel fate.

The coconut octopus, also known as veined octopus, is born with the instinct to protect itself by creating a mobile home out of coconut or clam shells. This particular individual however has been trapped by their instincts and have made a home out of a plastic cup they found underwater.

While a shell is a sturdy protection, a passing eel or flounder would probably swallow the cup with the octopus in it, most likely also killing the predator or weakening it to a point where it will be soon eaten by an even bigger fish.

We found this particular octopus at about 20 meters under the water, we tried for a long time to give it shells hoping that it would trade the shell. Coconut octopus are famous for being very picky about which shells they keep so we had to try with many different shells before it found one to be acceptable. Filmed in: – Lembeh, Indonesia – December 2018
This Lembeh YouTube page has many more films of octopuses, fish, nudibranchs and much more. Check it out!

Now watch this PMS Nature video of a Coconut (or Veined) Octopus with a shelter of real coconut shells.

One Comment
  1. ethanski permalink
    December 21, 2020 5:07 am

    You must see “My Octopus 🐙 Instructor” on Netflix.

    Sent from my iPhone: No puppies or trees were harmed by this e-mail……. ….have a marvelous day!

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