THIS OCTOPUS HAS NUTS
No, that wasn’t meant to be an innuendo.
Quite literally, the veined octopus (Amphioctopus marinates) carries its nuts around with it- specifically the half-shells of a coconut. It reconstructs the shells and disappears inside it or underneath it when it wants to stay hidden from predators or if it wants to sneak up on prey. See the video to watch this octopus do its thang…
It has been hailed as the first invertebrate to use tools.
A team led by biologist Julian Finn of Museum Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, was observing 20 veined octopuses on a regular basis.
The researchers noticed that the animals were frequently using their approximately 15-centimeter-long tentacles to carry coconut shells bigger than their roughly 8-centimeter-wide bodies.
An octopus would dig up the two halves of a coconut shell, then use them as protective shielding when stopping in exposed areas or when resting in sediment.
This, on its own, astonished the team. Then they noticed that the octopuses, after using the coconut shells, would arrange them neatly below the centers of their bodies and “walk” around with the shells—awkwardly.
“I’ve always been impressed by what octopuses can do, but this was bizarre,” said study co-author Norman, senior curator for mollusks at Museum Victoria.
To carry the shells, a veined octopus has to stick its arms out and over the edges of the coconut and walk around as if on stilts—making the octopus, while in motion, more vulnerable to predators—study leader Finn explained.
“An octopus without shells can swim away much faster by jet propulsion,” he said. “But on endless mud seafloor, where are you fleeing to?” In other words, a coconut-carrying octopus may be slow, but it’s always got somewhere to hide.
Octopuses of many species are well known for their intelligence. In captivity they’ve been known to navigate mazes, seem to be able to remember past events, and are cunning escape artists.
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