[Octopus]: Inky the Octopus hummelincki

tduncan

Hatchling
Supporter
Joined
Feb 8, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
4
Location
Oak Hill, Florida
[Webmaster Edit]: For more context, see @tduncan's introduction.

I thought I'd start with Inky's first good "baby photo". He was in his den most of the time during his first month with us; darting out just to grab some food. We placed a plastic toy one of my students brought in for him by his den. He appeared long enough to check it out and be sure it wasn't edible.

I'm also posting a short video of inky about a month after his/her arrival. When he left his den he would take on the appearance either on of the rocks in his tank, or more often a hermit crab. Hermit crabs were the only other occupant in the tank. I apologize for the quick camera angle change, I was trying to get this video while teaching class. When he climbs on top of the rock that contained his den he turns and you can clearly see his crab profile. I was always amazed by the way he moved with all his legs tucked under his body.

In retrospect, I wish I had taken more videos. He grew so fast. Now he roams the tank in full view, with his arms stretching the full height of the tank.

View attachment Inky as hermit crab_Trim.mp4
 

Attachments

Last edited by a moderator:

tonmo

Cthulhu
Staff member
Webmaster
Joined
May 30, 2000
Messages
10,098
Reaction score
968
Location
Pennsylvania
awesome! @tduncan, are you OK with me moving your reply here into a new thread in the Octopus Journals forum? We'd love to follow along!

That is incredible behavior in that video, I've never seen anything quite like that from an octo :shock:
 

tduncan

Hatchling
Supporter
Joined
Feb 8, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
4
Location
Oak Hill, Florida
Hi, sorry for the slow response. Science fair judging tomorrow, long day in the classroom.

Please move my reply anywhere you like. The marine biologist, who stops by with fiddler crabs for Inky and copepods for the seahorses, was also surprised by the video and commented he had never seen this species of octopus mimic other animal behavior. This being my first octopus experience, I just assumed it was normal defensive behavior.

Although he spent most of the time in his den at that point, he behaved this way often when he left the area of his den to look for hermit crabs or other food in his tank. One of my fifth graders was looking at the tank and asked “where’s Inky”, when I pointed to him creeping across the bottom of the tank she responded “no, I mean the octopus”. It could be really confusing. On of my subs said she took pictures, or a video. I’ll see if she still has it. I have a shorter clip from the same video I’ll post now.

View attachment Inky as moving rock.mp4
 

tduncan

Hatchling
Supporter
Joined
Feb 8, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
4
Location
Oak Hill, Florida
Hi Folks, I thought I would post a current video of Inky. I also think I need to start referring to Inky as her. I'm certainly not 100% sure of her gender, but that’s my best guess for now. I will try to get some good photos of her third right arm to post, and ask for your assistance.

Truman, my student who brought her in as a baby found in his crab trap, took the lead in naming her and referred to her as a him, and we just went with it. She was not up for photo ops those first months.

Inky becomes active at the end of the school day. For the past month or so her routine is to go to an upper front corner of the tank and hang onto the side of the tank, appearing to want some interaction. I began our interaction by dangling a few fingers in the water and she gradually made her way to the top touching my fingers, then, eventually, she touched her head to my fingers. It’s always a back and forth, up and down “dance” with contact being brief, but repetitive.

I couple of weeks ago she pulled her whole body into my cupped hand. I discovered that she seems to enjoy a very brief, soft massage of her mantle. We have this interaction on most days. I always wait for her to go to the top of the tank, and I let her come to my hand. She’s a lot less jumpy, but I can’t make sudden moves. She often sends mixed signals, gently squirting water toward me while she eases into my hand and wraps her arms around my fingers.

This routine usually lasts 5-10 minutes, then she drifts off. She may head back to the corner an hour later for more. I feel really guilty when I can’t oblige her. It’s very hard to resist. My students enjoy watching, I’m glad she waits until the end of the school day.

This video is a bit too close. Sorry, it was taken by a student on my iPad. I hope this isn’t too much context. I’m sure this video isn’t nearly as interesting as the previous “hermit crab” one I posted, but it’s what we were up to earlier today.
View attachment IMG_E0587_Trim_Trim.mp4
 

DWhatley

Kraken
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
20,773
Reaction score
1,883
Location
Gainesville, GA
Never too much context or too many images! I always called your "crab" impression a "rock" impression but watching our video I will compromise on conch :titanites: .

I have suggested in the past that the animals that clearly want to be "petted" may have somewhat itchy skin and we are serving as interactive scratching posts. I'd rather it be true affection but at least it is clear that they enjoy our interaction.
 

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
20,454
Messages
205,254
Members
8,344
Latest member
octo.journey

Monty Awards

TONMOCON IV (2011): Terri
TONMOCON V (2013): Jean
TONMOCON VI (2015): Taollan
TONMOCON VII (2018): ekocak

Top