25 June 2010

You put the lime in the coconut

...or, in this case, the octopus puts itself in the coconut.



Yes. That's an octopus hiding in a coconut shell. Excerpted from a BBC article:

An octopus and its coconut-carrying antics have surprised scientists.

Underwater footage reveals that the creatures scoop up halved coconut shells before scampering away with them so they can later use them as shelters.

Writing in the journal Current Biology, the team says it is the first example of tool use in octopuses.

One of the researchers, Dr Julian Finn from Australia's Museum Victoria, told BBC News: "I almost drowned laughing when I saw this the first time."

He added: "I could tell it was going to do something, but I didn't expect this - I didn't expect it would pick up the shell and run away with it."

Quick getaway

The veined octopuses (Amphioctopus marginatus) were filmed between 1999 and 2008 off the coasts of Northern Sulawesi and Bali in Indonesia. The bizarre behaviour was spotted on four occasions.

The eight-armed beasts used halved coconuts that had been discarded by humans and had eventually settled in the ocean.

Dr Mark Norman, head of science at Museum Victoria, Melbourne, and one of the authors of the paper, said: "It is amazing watching them excavate one of these shells. They probe their arms down to loosen the mud, then they rotate them out."


I hereby declare these octopuses to be awesome.

Just a little light reading for all y'all to enjoy this Friday evening. Have a good one!

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