Watch Octopuses Throw Things at Each Other

Watch Octopuses Throw Things at Each Other

For the first time, octopuses were spotted throwing things at each other.

Octopuses have a reputation for being solitary creatures. However, in Jervis Bay (Australia), the gloomy (Octopus ) is found at high densities. Cephalopod researchers decided that underwater cameras would be a better way to capture the creatures’ interactions.

After removing the cameras from the water, the researchers sat down and watched more than 20 hours footage. David Scheel (behavioural ecologist at Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage) laughs and calls it “octopus television”. One behavior stood out was when the eight-limbed creatures collected shells, silt, or algae with their arms and hurled them away with water from their siphon. Although they seemed to be throwing away food leftovers or debris, sometimes it appeared that they were throwing things at one another.

The team discovered clues that the octopuses were intentionally targeting each other. Throws that came in contact with another octopus were quite strong, especially when the thrower had a uniformly dark or medium-coloured body. Another clue is that sometimes the octopuses at the receiving end would duck. Throws that made octocontact were more likely to use a particular set of arms and the projectile was more likely be silt.

” We weren’t able try and assess the reasons,” Scheel warns. He says throwing “might help these animal deal with the fact there are so many of them around”. It is likely social.

Tamar Gunick, an octopus neurobiologist from the University of Naples Federico II, Italy, said that the work opens up new avenues for research into the social lives of these intelligent animals. She says that the environment for these octopuses allows them to interact with each other. “It’s communication

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