OldTimeRadio said:
kirmildew said:
I love octopus stories and I would keep octopi if I could!

Octopi kept in captivity are in great danger of dying of boredom and the way the large public and research aquariums combat this is to put the octopus' food into more and more hand-to-open containers - like Chiense puzzles.

The trouble is that you need a new and more complicated container every day or two, or else our tentacled friend sez, in effect, "been here, done this - BORING!" and goes off-feed..
Indeed, they are fascinating and smart, which is why I balk at those Japanese who eat whole baby ones alive. It actually makes me laugh that many people choke to death every year doing this! The thought of something which is almost entirely muscle, fighting with all eight legs to not be swallowed, makes you wonder why on earth anyone would entertain the very idea.
Ideally I should have put, "I would keep octopi if they stayed really small and I knew enough about them to keep them well entertained and happy". Maybe with a tiny underwater drum kit... or perhaps I have seen too many cartoons :-D
I am considering getting an octopus for my next tattoo- I like the way the Japanese draw them, if not the way they eat them... However I would steer clear of those old woodcuts of 'tentacle porn' oo-er.
kirmildew said:
I am considering getting an octopus for my next tattoo.

Fo a moment I thought the octapus was going to draw the tatoo. Imagine that, an octapus with a tatoo gun in each tentacle! :eek:
Octopuses have two legs and six arms
To most of us it has always seemed obvious that an octopus has eight arms.
By David Thomas
Last Updated: 9:13PM BST 12 Aug 2008

But experts have now revealed that this assumption is wrong - as two of their long tentacle-like limbs are in fact legs.

A study by scientists at Sea Life centres across Europe found that the invertebrates move across the sea bed using their two rearmost limbs, leaving the other six free for the important business of feeding.

Researchers who observed the creatures in action found they push off with the "legs" and then employ the other tentacles to pump themselves along.

The study, the largest of its type carried out, was designed to show if octopuses favoured one side or the other.

But it found that octopuses are ambidextrous, though many seem to favour their third arm from the front to eat with.

Octopuses either swim or crawl across the seabed.

If they need to move fast they can shoot a jet of water from an opening in their body.

Scientists from 20 centres across Europe analysed data from 2,000 observations of common octopuses to get the results.

Claire Little, a marine expert from the Weymouth Sea Life Centre in Dorset, said: "We've found that octopuses effectively have six arms and two legs.

"Observations showed that they use the rearmost two to get around over rocks and the seabed.

"They also use these two legs to push off when they wish to swim, and then other tentacles are used to propel them."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... -arms.html
I love cephlopods and I'm considering an octopus tattoo, I just think they are stunning. I would love to see some footage of octopods ding sme of these disguises. I remember watching a documentry a while back abut a disguise they have called the Hag Face where they apparently mimic a witch-like face, it was truly fantastic.

EDIT: This video is amazing!
that easn't the link you clicked. it was the octopus disguised as the link.

back away from the monitor slowly!
Otto the octopus wreaks havoc
A octopus has caused havoc in his aquarium by performing juggling tricks using his fellow occupants, smashing rocks against the glass and turning off the power by shortcircuiting a lamp.

Last Updated: 10:48PM GMT 31 Oct 2008

Staff believe that the octopus called Otto had been annoyed by the bright light shining into his aquarium and had discovered he could extinguish it by climbing onto the rim of his tank and squirting a jet of water in its direction.

The short-circuit had baffled electricians as well as staff at the Sea Star Aquarium in Coburg, Germany, who decided to take shifts sleeping on the floor to find out what caused the mysterious blackouts.

A spokesman said: "It was a serious matter because it shorted the electricity supply to the whole aquarium that threatened the lives of the other animals when water pumps ceased to work.

"It was on the third night that we found out that the octopus Otto was responsible for the chaos.

"We knew that he was bored as the aquarium is closed for winter, and at two feet, seven inches Otto had discovered he was big enough to swing onto the edge of his tank and shoot out a the 2000 Watt spot light above him with a carefully directed jet of water."

Director Elfriede Kummer who witnessed the act said: "We've put the light a bit higher now so he shouldn't be able to reach it. But Otto is constantly craving for attention and always comes up with new stunts so we have realised we will have to keep more careful eye on him - and also perhaps give him a few more toys to play with.

"Once we saw him juggling the hermit crabs in his tank, another time he threw stones against the glass damaging it. And from time to time he completely re-arranges his tank to make it suit his own taste better - much to the distress of his fellow tank inhabitants."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... havoc.html
Octopus is a sucker for ice lollies
2:36pm Monday 15th August 2011

Fishy flavoured lollies are the order of the day for one giant octopus in Newquay.
Mr Tickle, who lives at the Blue Reef Aquarium in the town, has been given the snacks as part of an ongoing environmental enrichment programme.
The two-and-a-half metre long Pacific octopus particularly enjoys crab, sand eel and shrimp flavoured iced treats.

Blue Reef curator, Matt Slater, said: “Giant Pacific octopus are incredible creatures and we have been able to develop a really close relationship with this particular animal.
“He’s called Mr Tickle because he loves to be tickled with the frayed ends of a rope.

“However the ice lollies are definitely his favourite treat and he goes crazy for them. He doesn't seem to mind holding on to the freezing cold lolly at all.
“In fact he wouldn’t let go and climbed almost completely out of the water with his tentacles firmly wrapped around the lolly.”

The lollies serve a double purpose of keeping Mr Tickle cool on particularly hot days and encouraging him to work harder for his food and utilise his natural hunting instincts.
“We have an ongoing programme of environmental enrichment for him which includes puzzles, toys and a variety of other objects for him to explore and investigate,” said Matt.

Giant Pacific Octopus are the world’s largest species of octopus and are found from Japan to Southern California. The biggest recorded specimen had an arm span of 10 metres (33ft) and weighed 270kgs (600lbs).

As well as being the largest, the giant Pacific is also among the cleverest members of the cephalopod family. Individuals living in aquariums have been filmed sneaking out at night to raid nearby fish-filled displays. :shock:

http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/tr ... es/?ref=mr
Wild video! (however, if you listen to the audio, you'll lose 10 IQ points, so be forewarned!))

Video: Octopus crawls out of water and walks on dry land
By Eric Pfeiffer

Check out this video of an octopus literally crawling out of the water and dragging itself across dry land in pursuit of a meal. A family with a camera was lucky enough to be on the scene and captured the whole thing on video:

If you're curious to learn more about the sea creature's possible motivation, there has been some great research on the understanding of octopus intelligence recently, including this surprisingly moving article in Orion magazine, chronicling a researchers bond with a giant Pacific octopus named Athena.

As it turns out, walking on land in the octopus kingdom is not as unique as you might think:

Some would let themselves be captured, only to use the net as a trampoline. They'd leap off the mesh and onto the floor—and then run for it. Yes, run. "You'd chase them under the tank, back and forth, like you were chasing a cat," [Middlebury College researcher Alexa] Warburton said. "It's so weird!"

Octopuses in captivity actually escape their watery enclosures with alarming frequency. While on the move, they have been discovered on carpets, along bookshelves, in a teapot, and inside the aquarium tanks of other fish—upon whom they have usually been dining.

However, it's quite unusual to capture video of a walking octopus in action. Part of the reason that studies on the creatures have been so limited, aside from their brief three-year life spans, is that they are notoriously shy, usually avoiding contact not only with humans, but with any other creatures, including fellow octopi.
Good find! Unfortunately, I listened to the audio and now have brain damage. :)
I have no speakers on my PC here, what is the audio track?
Anyone who read their Biggles books in childhood knows octopuses can walk on land. Its a scenario that Captain Johns uses at least twice. He used to research his books pretty well for a children's fiction author. Even when he's writing science fiction the scenarios are based on real world myths or news stories. I'm sure if he was writing now there'd be a 'Biggles Defies the Bigfoot' or similar. :)
Great piece of film. It's the sort of thing you imagine but rarely see.

BTW I'd argue about Captain WE John's Science Fiction, they're quite fun but his grasp of astonomy was pretty ropey.
Yes great film, I love octopus. Saw a programme the other day about a population in Sicily (?) which were for some reason living longer and seemed to be developing cooperative groups and passing information along the generations. A lack of opportunity to transfer knowledge and therefore build on previous generations experience had been seen as a bar to octopus developing to their full intellectual potential. Apparently their behavior was becoming more aggressive and their presence in the area more dominant.

I'm hoping that one day they'll work out how to become arboreal because I really want the Pacific tree octopus to exist.
CarlosTheDJ said:
I have no speakers on my PC here, what is the audio track?

It was a typical family ooh-ing and ahh-ing about the octopus, making daft comments. The video is very good quality, apart from this.
Mythopoeika said:
CarlosTheDJ said:
I have no speakers on my PC here, what is the audio track?

It was a typical family ooh-ing and ahh-ing about the octopus, making daft comments. The video is very good quality, apart from this.

If I was surrounded by that lot I'd make a run for it too :)
I should have added 'in his Biggles books' . In later life he tried to write an out-and-out space opera which I've never read but which apparently is embarassing in the extreme.

Those Biggles books that stray into SF or mythology were written in the 30's, though, and the 'space opera' ones in the 50's - the post-war Biggles books aren't generally anything like as good either.

The land-walking octopus features in 'Biggles Flies Again'.
I'll shoehorn this in here (I'm sure an extra arm would add a few points to its IQ).

A nine-armed octopus? Not so fast

At first glance, the octopus that was found by scuba divers in the waters of an artisanal fishery near the coastal village of Puerto Ángel in Mexico looked like a bizarre nine-armed specimen. But a closer look revealed that it had the usual eight arms after all—only, researchers found, its second arm was bifurcated, which means that it was divided into two branches. The likely cause was a genetic mutation, according to a study published in the current issue of the American Malacological Bulletin.

The investigators, who found the specimen in 2012, suspect that the bifurcation was unlikely to be from an arm injury and theorize instead that it was caused by a mutation in one of the Hox genes, which play a crucial role in the formation of limbs and organs. This octopus joins a line of others with similar arm abnormalities: In a particularly extreme case published back in 1965, researchers in Japan described an octopus with multiple branching in seven of its eight arms, which resulted in a total of 90 branches.

http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014 ... ot-so-fast
garrick92 said:
Octopuses are my favourite animal in the whole world. I think the chief reason that they didn't become earth's dominant species (or at least, a marine competitor with humans) is the fact that they only live two or three years. I am looking forward to the day when this can be corrected through genetics, so that we can see what sort of intelligence an octopus might develop if it were given a human-equivalent lifespan.

If I was a Bond Villain I would have an octopus as a pet in my arms.
Don't freak out, but scientists think octopuses 'might be aliens' after DNA study
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Not to send you into a meltdown or anything but octopuses are basically ‘aliens’ – according to scientists.


Researchers have found a new map of the octopus genetic code that is so strange that it could be actually be an “alien”.

The first whole cephalopod genome sequence shows a striking level of complexity with 33,000 protein-coding genes identified – more than in a human.

Not only that, the octopus DNA is highly rearranged – like cards shuffled and reshuffled in a pack – containing numerous so-called “jumping genes” that can leap around the genome.

“The octopus appears to be utterly different from all other animals, even other molluscs, with its eight prehensile arms, its large brain and its clever problem-solving abilities,” said US researcher Dr Clifton Ragsdale, from the University of Chicago.

“The late British zoologist Martin Wells said the octopus is an alien. In this sense, then, our paper describes the first sequenced genome from an alien.”

The scientists sequenced the genome of the California two-spot octopus in a study published in the journal Nature.

They discovered unique genetic traits that are likely to have played a key role in the evolution of characteristics such as the complex nervous system and adaptive camouflage.

Analysis of 12 different tissues revealed hundreds of octopus-specific genes found in no other animal, many of them highly active in structures such as the brain, skin and suckers.

The scientists estimate that the two-spot octopus genome contains 2.7 billion base pairs – the chemical units of DNA – with long stretches of repeated sequences.

And although the genome is slightly smaller than a human’s, it is packed with more genes.

Reshuffling was a key characteristic of the creature’s genetic make-up. In most species, cohorts of certain genes tend to be close together on the double-helix DNA molecule.

A gene is a region of DNA that contains the coded instructions for making a protein.

In the octopus, however, there are no such groupings of genes with related functions. For instance, Hox genes – which control body plan development – cluster together in almost all animals but are scattered throughout the octopus genome.

It was as if the octopus genome had been “put into a blender and mixed”, said co-author Caroline Albertin, also from the University of Chicago.
On a dive with my brother in the mid 80's in northern NSW, we drifted over a crevice in the reef and spotted a small octopus (about a foot across the head) wedged into the crevice. We drifted down close to it, and we watched it and it watched us.

My brother being a teaser, he drew his dive knife and holding it lightly (not wanting to hurt it), tried gently to coax the octopus out of its hole. It squirmed, it twisted this way and that, it deflected the blade away, but it wouldn't come out and he wouldn't take the hint and stop teasing it.

After about 5 minutes of this, suddenly one tentacle reached out and grabbed his hand, while another reached out and grabbed the knife, whisking it away into its crevice, never to be seen again.

I laughed so much I think I nearly drowned. Octopi are VERY intelligent.