Home on the Road: This Octopus Just Loves Life in a Shell
Is this the original RVer? The veined or “coconut” octopus’s home is wherever it puts down its, well, shell. And we’re glad to announce there’s one parked in our Tentacles exhibit right now.
But it’s not just a coconut shell that this cephalopod settles down in. Our Curator of Husbandry Operations, Paul Clarkson, says that the veined octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus) will “pick up anything at its disposal” to make a home on the road. This includes old cans, bottles, boots, shells and yes—coconuts. In fact, it’s proud to take up residence in any recently foreclosed property on the ocean floor. It’s all home as far as this cephalopod is concerned.
It could just be the ultimate recycler.
Paul was recently part of a trip to the Philippines, and his sole goal was to collect this curious cephalopod. The trip was organized by the California Academy of Sciences, which also happens to be the only other aquarium in the U.S. to have displayed them.
The dive site was near an old pier, which—unfortunately for the ocean, but perhaps not so much for the octopus—was rife with trash. He said they would often find the animals closed up in clam shells, with just their eyes poking out, surveying the scene. If spooked, Paul said, the octopus would “just duck down and close up the shell.” To move, it would pick up the shell and just hit the road.
This made life easy for the scientists on the trip. “To collect these octopuses, we would just take the whole house, with the animal inside. It was good for them, and easy for us.” The shell also furnished first-class accommodations on the flight to California.
Paul found that, if he was patient, the octopuses were quite sociable. “If we just sat still, with a crab or other prey, they would come right over and eat out of our hands.”
About the veined octopus
The veined octopus is found in Indo-Pacific waters, has a fist-sized body and lives to be a year old. Common prey items include crustaceans and small fishes.
You can find it in our Tentacles exhibit, in the spot formerly occupied by the two-spot octopus, which has been moved behind the scenes. Don’t be surprised to find this vagabond displayed with some of the junk that commonly forms its home in the wild.
- ithinkinamber reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
- fromtheriverbanks reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
- nahandakota likes this
- desirechange reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
- guinevak likes this
- nangoat reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
- fireplugme likes this
- machic000 reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
- beatingbrittany likes this
- fuehrer3345 reblogged this from fuehrer3345
- iamrodsoley likes this
- darianrachel likes this
- robertnesta reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
- under-the-sea-dragon likes this
- themonster702 likes this
- potatoeatinglizard likes this
- g8-keeper reblogged this from shychemist
- wingoffury34 reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
- mortefere reblogged this from disco-dancer-donna
- londariya likes this
- drollnotionsafterdark reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
- mebvickie likes this
- fuschiajamboree likes this
- purgamentum-exit reblogged this from mindblowingscience
- purgamentum-exit likes this
- wantering-dressed-in-red likes this
- rafal-ptaszynski likes this
- kaltblutigsskrieger likes this
- steampunk-and-junk likes this
- survivingthesummit reblogged this from shychemist
- sweetfall995 likes this
- cheesecake-stripper likes this
- kayleighelizabethh reblogged this from xxsweethistory
- notthatfdupyousay reblogged this from mindblowingscience
- xxsweethistory reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
- xxsweethistory likes this
- vidi-veni-dormivi reblogged this from amartits
- vidi-veni-dormivi likes this
- foresteyes reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
- urotsuki reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
- disco-dancer-donna reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
- canissapien80 reblogged this from eduardo-
- laniidae-the-impaler reblogged this from mindblowingscience and added:
- laniidae-the-impaler likes this
- mermagaoge reblogged this from shychemist
- jonwolfman likes this
- aileerose likes this
- kassandraleon reblogged this from pearl-nautilus
- wafercat reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
- wafercat likes this