Abdopus aculeatus attack behavior

Discussion in 'Physiology and Biology' started by Neogonodactylus, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. Neogonodactylus

    Neogonodactylus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    It is often difficult to get sharp photographs of octopuses jetting after and/or attacking prey. I got lucky and filmed this small (3 cm mantle length) Abdopus aculeatus attacking a shrimp. The octopus was sitting on a rock, spotted the shrimp, oriented towards it and then jetted after it. Unfortunately the capture was out of frame, but the jetting sequence is O.K.

    Roy
     

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  2. mucktopus

    mucktopus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    These are great!!! That must be one well-fed aculeatus, if it took a bunch of tried to get these shots!

    Enlarging these- wow - even all the suckers are in focus.
     
  3. Neogonodactylus

    Neogonodactylus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    Still hungry. I got it on the second try.

    Roy
     
  4. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Wow, what camera are you using?
     
  5. Neogonodactylus

    Neogonodactylus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    Jean,

    I'm still using my old Nikon D300s with a 105 micro lens.
     
  6. Level_Head

    Level_Head Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    One intriguing aspect of this is the position of the eyes. Octopuses have a very broad band that is roughly analogous to our "focal point": they can see detail to the left and right without having to turn the eye to focus.

    But this one is not seeming to have the target in even peripheral vision. At no point in the sequence does it seem that the octopus can actually be looking at the prey. A jet attack would seem to be too quick for use of scent for precise targeting. Although, with a broad spread of arms, "precise" is perhaps not relevant.

    Here, the creature is capable of swiveling its eyes forward, but doesn't in what would seem an obviously useful situation. How common is that?
     
  7. Neogonodactylus

    Neogonodactylus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    When the octopus nears the position of the prey, it spreads its arms and either sweeps the area for contact with the prey or "parachutes" down casting its web over a large area. In most of the sequences I have photographed of jetting, the eyes appear "locked" into position. Here is the same animal during another attack.

    Roy
     

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  8. Level_Head

    Level_Head Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Lovely shots. And looking closely at this one, the forward edge of the pupil (and the refractive effects) make me think that perhaps straight forward is visible after all.

    In my fictional writings, I have future versions of these creatures turn or swivel an eye to look at something (or someone) in more detail; perhaps it is too much anthropomorphizing.
     
  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I wish I would try my hand at fast stills to observe attacks more closely. My impression has always somewhat negated the "known fact" octopuses can clearly focus and are sight hunters. I would not call them sight hunters at all (bearing in mind that I have only kept a few and observations are in aquariums). They seem to detect motion, size and general characteristics enough to see determine prey but will often miss targets and do much more of their hunting and food detection with their arms and suckers than with sight.
     
  10. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Hi Roy

    hmmmm may need to save for a micro lens, sadly (actually not really I love it!) I have an olympus 4/3 system, great lenses but ferociously expensive! love your shots though!
     

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