Hello from Florida

tduncan

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Hello. I’m a fifth-grade science and math teacher in Oak Hill, Florida. I drive 40 miles to teach at my school because they let me bring my students to Mosquito Lagoon, part of Canaveral National Seashore, several times a year to study the park’s species. Luckily, our school is only a mile from the lagoon. We catch the species with 6-foot seine nets, place them in floating plastic tanks, and photograph them before their release.

About two years ago I started two saltwater tanks in the classroom using water and live sand from the lagoon. We bring a few species to the classroom to study. We have shared our classroom with puffer fish, pipefish, needlefish, a variety of crabs, and many others. We have grown to four tanks of varying sizes. In early October I received an email from a student explaining that they had found a baby octopus in their crab trap. They wanted to know if we could study him in the classroom. After some quick research indicating we could meet his needs I said yes.


We have had Inky, named by my students, since the beginning of October. His head/mantle was about the size of a medium grape, and his body with arms fully extended was about 5-6 inches tip to tip. He eagerly grabbed a small crab 5 minutes after he was put in the tank, so we got off to a good start. He initially hid most of the time, making appearances only to nab a meal. We did get video of him roaming the tank mimicking a hermit crab, his only tank mates, and staying in place with his body shaped, textured, and colored to match an adjacent oyster cluster.

A marine biologist who occasionally visits the school to advise the aquaculture program has developed an interest in Inky, as well as our other tank inhabitants. He identified him as a Caribbean Two-Spot Octopus, Octopus hummelincki. He has grown very quickly and has also grown much more social in the past few months. The student who brought him to us first noticed that he had begun to roam the tank at about the time school is dismissed. His tank is by my desk and he now frequently hangs out in the corner of the tank, adjacent to the table where students sit to get help. I find myself helping students solve math problems with one hand dangling in the tank while he goes back and fourth touching my hand and having his head briefly rubbed between his eyes. He’s hard to resist.

I have visited this site to get information and advice, and thought it was time to join the community.
Terry
 

Nancy

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Hi Terry,
Welcome to the site - glad you have joined our community.
Sounds like Inky is a nice friendly octopus and you’re enjoying interacting with him!
Nancy
 

pkilian

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Post photos of Inky if you can! We love to see photos of peoples animals and tank setup. I'm glad you are having a wonderful time with your cephy friend and I hope to see more soon!
 

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