… in this particular bit of occy ‘country’ – you need to bring your own shade! Don’t believe me? Go and have a look-see for yourself:
You can find the full story over at on the National Geographic News website; it’s an interesting read. I don’t know what your own experiences with Octopuses have been, but as a fella who has grown up on the coast and had spent most of his younger days following the critters that inhabit the reef platform across the tidal zone, the octopus was the King (and Queen) of the Reef.
Sure, you have all the other bigger predators and all, but as far as actual brains go – the octopus had it all over the other critters on the reef! I remember a yarn about a fella who kept multiple marine aquariums. He had a re-occuring problem; at reasonably regular intervals his crustaceans would disappear in his crab tank. He felt sure that the fact that he’d separated his octopus in another tank – all on it’s own – well sealed and physically separated from the other tanks, was enough to guarantee his critters safety, in their own tank.
A late foray one night – after weeks of frustration – led him to discover the octopus dining in with his crabby treats. It had broken out of it’s own ‘enclosure’, ‘suckered’ it’s way down to the bench-top, clambered over to the appropriate ‘treats’ tank, and slipped into it’s own salt-water alfresco dining area. To top all this off – it had chosen the night hours to do so and would be safely ‘tucked up’ – back in it’s own tank – by the morning. No mean feat for a critter that needs to get it’s oxygen supply from it’s water. Occies sure do like their crab!
I once had one ‘mug’ me for a crayfish I was holding whilst I was under the water. I was in a good spot; wedged under a reef shelf, with my head in a hole – holding my breath and reaching for a second cray – when I felt something creep over the top of my hand. When I ducked my head out to see what it was, I saw this occie reaching over the back of my hand with three of it’s tentacles, to get to the crustacean I’d hoped would help feed two of us that night. Have you ever tried to fight off something with eight appendages – in it’s own environment and firmly focused on it’s tucker – with only two of your own?
It all was rather embarrassing – the octopus only needed to hold on with two of it’s tentacles and I needed to breathe! I had to give up my first cray (which was enveloped in tentacles in a moment), lost my grip on the second and gave up the lot to get back to the surface! The little bugger had no fear! All to the spluttering laughter of my best mate bobbing up beside me – no damn help at all.
All I can say is ‘God help us’ if Occies learnt to construct themselves a ‘wet’ breathing apparatus set – we’d be stuffed! The buggers would take over the world… 😉
Belongum – Out!