Grabby

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Decay, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. Decay

    Decay Blue Ring Registered

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    ive been feeding my octopus by hand for a few weeks now, and often when it takes the food it holds onto my hand and tries pulling it to its beak.

    occasionally it holds the food in one arm and tries pulling me with the rest, and others it takes the food directly to its mouth and still tries pulling me in. when i attempt to break contact it quickly lets go, and never forces the issue. its made me wonder if it wants to bite me, or if the suckers closer to the hub of the arms are simply more sensitive and its just trying to investigate me more thoroughly.

    last night i tried giving it a transformer to play with, i waved it out in front of it and it reached out with one arm and took it from me. after a few seconds it reached out towards me with the transformer as if it wanted me to take it. i took it with my thumb and forefinger and the octopus gently let go so i could remove it from the tank. after this i reached out with a finger and it gently took hold of it, and unlike the toy, tried pulling it towards itself.

    has anyone else experienced this, and do you think it really wants to bite me, or just investigate me? would you reccomend i let it, or is that just asking for trouble?
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I have successfully interacted with two species now and am working on two more. One of my strong practices is to NOT handle food when it is playtime. The octopus has chemical receptors on its suckers and any trace of food will remain so yes I would suggest your method may become a problem. I separate feeding from play time (if you are interested, there are videos for both Octane and OhToo) and asside from initial curiosity pulling, have interacted with full trust after several weeks of consistently applying my method. The only time my octos have bitten me was during sesenence and I broke the interaction rules that we has long established (see OhToo's ending posts).

    I have pontificated :razz: on the technique I use here and would love to see if it holds water with other octos/species and keepers.
     
  3. Decay

    Decay Blue Ring Registered

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    i was aware of the chemical receptors in the suckers, but i hadnt put it together in my brain that the traces of food would remain on my hands. two of the times i have interacted with it were well after feeding, and it still tried pulling my hand, but i will have to be more cautious of it in future. i will definitly try your method though over the next week or two and see what becomes of it.

    your journal on octane was actually one of the first i read on this site and i was surprised how attached i grew to an animal i had never even seen. because i read it at work though i never got to look at the videos but ill make a point of it when i get home.
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I am glad my journal had that effect. Because of Octane (and OhToo), hummelincki will likely always be my favorite species and I will keep a tank open for another when there is not one in residence.

    Remember that traces of food include oils that stick to the skin after rinsing. However, be careful about using soap. Washing may avoid a bite but may also poison the water (dish soap is used - in addition to other stuff- to catch them for specimens and interfers with their gill function. Anything bad tasting may interfer with interaction. If you watch OhToo's video you will see that he would go in and out of my fingers with full access to my hand but was never grabby. I wish I knew of a safe substance for hand washing. Neal and I have switched around some of the household stuff so he now feeds the tanks (which keeps him interested and interacting) so I don't have much problem with the food issue (he stick feeds the frozen though so hands are not involved with food and probably better for the octo as much as it is fun to hand feed).

    Initial tugging to the mouth is normal and all mine have done it and the slight resistence stops the process (as excepted by OhToo but I was not playing by the rules and he was dieing - I don't think he was trying to eat me, he just did not want to be put back on the substrate to be clean-up crew fodder and I was trying to release him). Initially both hummelinckis would flee when I resisted but the tugging and fleeing stopped in less than a week.

    I am experimenting now with Beldar who is sometimes receptive and sometime not but there is no question that he knows the rules :smile:. He has aggresively grabbed my hand once. He came up to his corner and was aggressively grabby from the start. I think he was hungry and I am now careful to feed him an hour before I go to play - seems to be working.
     

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