Can someone explain the behaviour of this octopus?

SquiddyBiscuit

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#1
I found this clip while browsing for octopus videos on youtube, and thought it was quite something:


It almost looks like the octopus gets on land to get closer to the humans, drop off the crab as close to the humans as it can, and then proceed to head back into the water from almost he same spot it left.

Now, I am not sure if this is some form of "peace-offering" or if it is just accidentally moving towards humans, realizing its errors and then dropping the crab in order to easier escape.

Thoughts?
 

DWhatley

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#2
If I am guessing right that would be a rubescens and the video taken somewhere in the Northwest. We have seen several videos of rubys leaving the water to go tide pool hopping but not anything like this where he moved what should have been his meal out of the water as if to make it go away. I have seen octopuses move sand around in sort of a similar manner (but not leave the water) when they were senescent but from coloring I would not guess old age was applicable but I have not seen an old rubescens and they may not gray out like most of the Caribbean animals. One other thought might be a brooding female that was removing a threat to either her intended or brooding den. I wish the observers had noticed if the crab was alive or dead. Very cool find.

edit: Noted the title afterwards and found that
The reserve is located in Moss Beach, CA, about 40 minutes south of San Francisco
 

tonmo

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#4
Great video! Tweeted / slideshowed.
 

corw314

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#6
Wow...pretty amazing....I think he realized there were people there and retreated! Awesome video!
 

OB

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#7
The behaviour is "fairly" common; for tidal octopodes to go from pool to pool whilst foraging. I think it was odd for it to take its prey item along for the ride. That it decided to drop it, was likely due to the equation no longer favouring holding on, versus being sufficiently agile/mobile to make it to the next pool? As a great detail I would like to note the puncture wound in the crab's carapace, which is clearly visible, upon the octopus letting go.
 

Thales

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#8
D - that was taken in the same place the similar footage I posted came from. Climbing around like that at low tide is pretty common. About an hour from my house. Come visit and well go, its cool.
 

Neogonodactylus

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#9
I used to take my class on a field trip to this spot at extreme low tides and we nearly always saw O. rubescens in tiny tide pools. Often they would move from tide pool to tide pool - particularly if disturbed.

Roy
 

DWhatley

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#10
The dropping of the food and returning where it exited is what makes me think it is a brooding/about to brood female. I have seen my tank brooding females do this, just not out of the water.
 

Thales

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#12
DWhatley;184480 said:
The dropping of the food and returning where it exited is what makes me think it is a brooding/about to brood female. I have seen my tank brooding females do this, just not out of the water.
Looks to me like there weren't any other tide pools around so it ended up back in the pool it left from.
 

beccalopod

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#13
I agree with Thales. Looks like it was trying to pool hop and didn't find a new pool, started to get distressed so it dropped it's crab, then just booked it back to the pool it knew was there.
 

DWhatley

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#14
I really wish we knew "the rest of the story". I can't observe in situ and know my lot will have behavior differences from those in the wild AND that I have never kept this species but I have never seen any of mine go hunting when they already had more food than they could carry. The only time I have seen them take food a distance from where they would eat it and then leave it is when they were protecting a den and had stopped eating.
 

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