How to interact with a GPO

Discussion in 'Behavior and Intelligence' started by critterguy, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. critterguy

    critterguy Larval Mass Registered

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    Hello all,

    On a snorkeling trip over shallow muddy bottom, I located two Giant Pacific Octopus dens in about 5 feet of water. One animal probably has a head bigger than a grapefruit-definetly an adult, the other was about half that size. I saw them at about 5-6pm at what appeared to be their dens. The bigger animal had numerous scallop/clam shells and crab pieces piled in front of its burrow...the smaller animal was actually in the rock but some refuse scattered about clued me in to its position.

    I'd like to go back sometime very soon and film these guys. Is it possible to lure them out during the day? Would a frozen mackerel work? How bout a small shore crab in a jar?(probably won't be able to catch a rock crab but they were clearly eating lots of these guys. Some funny plastic toy? Shiny fishing lures or swimbaits?(hooks removed of course?)
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    For the smaller guy an active crab in a clear jar usually gets attention but the amount of time spent varys. I have no clue about the big guys though. I DO want to see the video!!!:grin:
     
  3. msoctopuslady

    msoctopuslady Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Wow! What a lucky duck you are, to have found some GPO! May I ask where you were snorkling?

    Also, the natural curiosity of the octopus might encourage them to come out of hiding just to figure out what you are, no food or funny toys required. How close did you get to their dens?
     
  4. critterguy

    critterguy Larval Mass Registered

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    This is at Catalina Island.

    I got within several feet of the den entrance. I also dropped a large hermit crab right in front of the den with no effect(I went to pick it back up and this startled the octopus and it retreated...but within a few minutes it had moved back to the front of the den and was eyeing the surroundings(and me, presumably). The area is a swim area in a marina so lots of boat, kayak, and swimmer traffic. It seems that it would take something rather novel to get him/her to come out-esp. in the daytime when I would like to film.

    I could get some decent sized striped shore crabs but they would still be a little smaller than the smallest rock crab I observed in the midden.
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    If you can go there often, it is not odd for even an in situ animal to identify and accept an individual human that brings it treats (hopefully this is not a brooding female). Haggs (Australia) found it did not take long for the gloomy's in his lagoon to accept his presence (and presents) by returning regularly with little treats. One of his little "friends" even became a bit of a nuisance to another snorkeler :grin:. If you decide to make recurring visits, wear something identifiable (by other than color). I have not had an opportunity to interact with a GPO but I have seen my own apparently mis-idenfity people that look similar (to my mother's advantage :grin:) so this would lead me to think wearing something distinct would help it know you are the one that brings food offerings.
     
  6. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    I too have never interacted with one, but I know how strong they are. I'd be very careful about pysically interacting with it and not having a scuba tank. If it gets overly curious about you, it may be a bad situations where you cant get to the surface to get air.
     
  7. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    The five foot of water helps a lot with the, "too curious" concern I think but luring it out where it cannot grab a stationary object is the usual advice because you will not be able to break a sucker hold should it decide to investigate you instead of the food offering (or in addition to - 8 long arms can do a lot of investigating :grin:). Be aware that cameras seem to be objects of curiousity and more than one diver has had difficulty retrieving either camer or lights.
     

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