Octopus Goes Cuckoo for Coconuts


Octopuses in Indonesia are smart and apparently know a good coconut when they see one:

"Julian Finn and Mark Norman of Museum Victoria in Melbourne observed the odd activity in four of the creatures during a series of dive trips to North Sulawesi and Bali in Indonesia between 1998 and 2008. Their findings were published Tuesday in the journal Current Biology. 'I was gobsmacked,' said Finn, a research biologist at the museum who specializes in cephalopods. 'I mean, I've seen a lot of octopuses hiding in shells, but I've never seen one that grabs it up and jogs across the sea floor. I was trying hard not to laugh.' Octopuses often use foreign objects as shelter. But the scientists found the veined octopus going a step further by preparing the shells, carrying them long distances and reassembling them as shelter elsewhere. That's an example of tool use, which has never been recorded in invertebrates before, Finn said."

Watch (no audio), AFTER THE JUMP...

Posted December 15, 2009 at 1:01pm ETC by Andy Towle
in Nature, News