another local - Situ Two(O.gibbsi)

Discussion in 'Diving & Ceph Encounters' started by haggs, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. haggs

    haggs Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Well it didn’t take very long after several weeks with nothing to look at or play with I have found another octopus.

    Last Wednesday I went over to the island still hoping to see Situ, but in the back of my mind I know I won’t. Anyway I looked in the Zoo hole... nothing, same in the long pool but as I hopped into the round pool I noticed a shell upside down. Looking closer I found another shell on its side ..... and yes there was an arm holding it.

    It looks to be a female with her first arm missing at the mantle. It has healed over, but there is no sign of re-growth yet. Guessing by her size she is half grown. I took about ten minutes of slowly moving closer and closer, to gain her trust or whatever you want to call it. Each time I approached she would back up into her den. I managed to get a couple of pictures before I left.

    Yesterday I ventured back to the Island because the tide was still half in, it meant that most of the rock pools we still being flushed by waves. The Zoo hole was the only one that’s not really affected by half tides, but still nothing. The other 2 pools were just full of white water and bubbles. No chance of seeing anything there. For the next hour I went back to the headland and searched some other areas without any success. I was about to head back home and I thought that it was worth a quick walk back out to the island and see if the pools were “clear” yet.

    The long pool was reasonably clear, but nothing. It’s only a few steps to the round pool. I waited for a break in the waves before getting in, it was quite bubbly and stirred up. I couldn’t see the other side which is about 2 to 3 metres away. Actually I could barely see my feet while I was standing in waste deep water. It seems like every bubble sticks to your mask and I continually have to raise my head out of the water to release them and wipe the camera lens to prevent blurry spots.

    Anyway ….. what you all want to know is yes, she was still there and it only took a minute or so for her to reach out and investigate.

    As with Situ, I've found that if you "scratch" the rock near the den with your finger, she raises her eyes and moves out until she can see what’s happening. Eventually she came right over to my fingers and within minutes had relaxed and began gently tugging on my hand and camera. Within the hour on 3 occasions she had let go of the rock and I had moved her into shallower water which enabled me just to lay on the surface and take pictures.
     

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  2. MrED

    MrED O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Awesome pics!!!
     
  3. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    great pics of a beautiful animal!
     
  4. Tommycs

    Tommycs Wonderpus Supporter

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    Great Pictures, And a wonderful looking animal. Hope you have as good a relationship with this one as you did with the last. Same species right?
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Whooo Hooo! This one should be easy to identify with the missing arm. Hopefully you can get some kind of idea on growth rate as the weather warms. With SueNami, I am guessing about an inch a month. It seems as if the growth slowed after point X (not knowing where point x was) but the growth of the undamaged arms may only make it appear that way. From what I read earlier, they don't bleed (or not much) when loosing an arm and the two I have had that came with damage started regrowing them within a day or two of entering the aquarium. It is unknown, however, when the arms were truncated. Watch for a little string at the end of the damaged section. It will first appear like a wisp of damaged material remaining from the truncation.

    Any idea what would be in the pool that would find octo arms a satisfactory dinner?
     
  6. haggs

    haggs Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Today was another great day, the weather was almost like summer. Bright blue sky and little puffy white clouds scattered around.

    We had friends around just after lunch and I was telling them about my new find down the island (it’s ok with them …. they are also fish people, so they understand me) and how quickly I was able to approach the octopus (please chip in with a suitable name) and showed them some of the photos I had taken from the day before.

    The closest focal distance for the camera is 5cm and because the octopus always seem to hang onto the lens it is impossible to get their arms in focus. So I had spent some of the morning making up a false clear plastic front for the camera hoping that keep the occy off the lens and that it will give me a better close up and be in focus.

    No sooner had they left, my wet box was in my hand with my mask, boots and camera. It was right on low tide so I headed across to the island. The rock pool was still getting the odd wave surge but not too often. Within no time the octopus had left its den and was heading for my hand and camera. The new false front worked, as you will see. Although I am getting a bit of “flash back” in some of the pics.

    Again she let go of the rock and allowed me to “carry” her across to where it was easier to take pictures. I’m now getting used to her arms reaching around and “crawling” up my arms, I’m even getting used to the “suction feeling”. I have to admit though I’m still a little bit apprehensive about letting her completely pull my fingers to her mouth. I know it probably won’t be any worse than one of the parrots that bit me …. It’s just the un known. It is quite difficult to take photos while you are trying to “pat” and octopus, I did get one picture that shows me giving her a gentle rub between her eyes. Maybe I need to find a new snorkeling friend as my niece that used to be with me most of the time has moved to the other side of the country.

    I also noticed when I got home and looked at the photos that she is shedding her skin in 2 of the pictures.

    “D” this is the same pool as a previous occy lived in that contains a lot of Sea stars and yes they also seem to be all around this den as well.
     

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  7. haggs

    haggs Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    and four more pictures
    .
    .
    .
     

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  8. Tommycs

    Tommycs Wonderpus Supporter

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    Great pictures, and good idea with the "false clear plastic front"! What kind of camera are you using?
     
  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    You could name her Snow White (or some eccentric variation) as in Snow White and the seven arms :tomato:

    Neal is calling her, SituTwo :tomato:

    You get a big awww for the petting picture. hummm, I wonder what an awww smiley should look like.
     
  10. haggs

    haggs Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    It's a canon A75 PowerShot with a WP-DC30 waterproof housing, it's only a 3.2 mega pixel camera that I had given to me by my family in July 2004. Actually it's my second camera, the first one I wore out after taking 23,894 photos, my son had the same camera so I bought his off him so that I could use the same housing. This camera has now taken 13,294 images. I'm still just as happy with it, as when I first learnt how to use it but it will be soon time to look for a new one.

    "D" I even gave myself an "aww" for that picture.
     
  11. haggs

    haggs Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    I made another visit to the rock pool this afternoon a little before low tide again I was facing the same problem of waves breaking into the pool and creating lots of bubbles and washing around small particles of weed and sand to make the job of taking a nice shot even harder.

    It took less than a minute for her to leave the safety of her den and wrap her arms around my hand and start pulling, within 3 minutes she swam to another rock and was over a metre away from her den climbing all over my hand.

    “D” I did take note of her missing arm and you can see in the picture a little white patch that I did not notice before. I don’t know if it’s part of new growth or what but it does appear to be on the end of her arm. Unfortunately I didn’t get a really good clear picture of it but it does appear to be re-growth. It’s also noticeable from about the 4 second mark in the video which I have just posted.
     

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  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    On Octane, I thought the new growth was remaining dead tissue and thought about removing it until I got a closer look and realized thre were little tiny suckers on the thread hanging off the arm.

    I am adding the link to the video:

    http://www.tonmo.com/forums/vbtube_show.php?do=tube&tubeid=87&t=18307

    Did you notice the snail in her beak before or after you let her play with your fingers?:grin:
     
  13. haggs

    haggs Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    "D" thanks for adding the video link.

    I didn't know if she was carring anything, last time it was a shell she was carrying. Yesterday it was a small, dead piece of sponge she was carrying with her. Not that I have seen a large number of occies but all of those that I have been able to get close enough to photograph seem to carry something which they usually cover their mouth, and yet none of the pictures of "tank" occies seem to do that.

    I know it might seem a bit "dumb" but I also want to try and find out ... is she wanting to play or does she see my fingers/hand as food. I don't see any other way than the obvious, letting her tell me by either just playing or having a little bite. I'm hoping it's not the latter. Before I head down the island I do make sure that I haven't been feeding the fish or have any trace of food that might influence her. I'm hoping that if she does decide to bite me that it's not going too painfull.

    I have attached a cropped image of the sponge that she was using yesterday.
     

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  14. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I would suggest a few more contacts and see if she stops pulling before you allow full investigation. The hummelinckis and the two mercs that would come to my hand never bit during play and had free access once they stopped trying to pull. The initial interest is could be food but I don't know that they attack things as large as humans. The pulling toward the beak may be to get the hand closer to the more sensitive suckers for investigation. However, I am not sure how many other creatures would play with them so I suspect they need to learn the rules of play and biting (as with children) may be something that needs to receive negative feedback early in the game.
     
  15. haggs

    haggs Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Ok, to stop her from pulling do I just pull my hand away or is there another way to do this?

    I have a couple of friends that I work with also interested in how things are going with the octopus. I was telling them how friendly she was. I commented that I wondered if she was that friendly to anybody else, anyway to cut the long story down I now have 2 volunteers who are willing to test this out. So hopefully over the next month I will be able to tee this idea up.

    The idea is for me to lay on the rock with just my camera and face in the water and see if Situ Two will allow a completely new person to approach the den and allow them to pat her.
     
  16. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    You are pretty much on your own with long term in situ behavior :grin: but with the hummelincki just firmly resisting has worked since they were attached to something other than my have at the stage of gaining trust. The briareus seem to be more aggressive though and I have not trained one to play. I am hoping Kaysoh will be more interactive than SueNami but she does not come out while we are in the room yet (fortunately, she is eating well but stays behind the rocks).

    Terrific idea with the two volunteers. Perhaps we will be seeing them here after the experience :rolleyes: You are doing far better than I am with recruits. I can't even get Ken to take a small interest. When we were in the Keys this summer he shortened my attempt by saying that he did not like octopuses, would never like them and would I please stop trying to change his mind :hmm:

    GHolland wants you to find an O. superciliosus (if you have Norton, page 284 bottom). Tiny, cute, diuranal and large egged but likely cold water. I wonder why they don't export the gloomy since it is very common and a much safer pet than the blue ring. What would you guess was the arm length on Situ the last time you saw her?
     
  17. bathypol

    bathypol Wonderpus Registered

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    These are great pictures. I really miss living near the ocean.
     
  18. haggs

    haggs Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    These are probably the worst pictures I have taken, my excuse is that I made a thicker stronger Perspex “false front” and it gave me untold grief with flash back and distortion.

    Anyway the cropped images show that Situ Two’s new arm has grown and is now close to 1cm long. I will see If I can do better next time.
     

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  19. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I find it amazing that you could stick your fingers up under the new arm and get a photo! Have you thought about glass instead of plexi for the front lens? What about using a clear or polarized filter?
     
  20. haggs

    haggs Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Another trip back to see how Situ Two’s arm is going, it’s growing so quick….. I reckon it would be close to 3cm now. That’s nearly doubled in the last 4 days.

    She was not in a playful mood today so I only spent half an hour in the pool with her, she did come out but not for long. So I took these few images and a little video but she wouldn’t let me get my finger in the picture to show as a comparison. Ahh well there will always be tomorrow.
     

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