Discussion in 'Diving & Ceph Encounters' started by myopsida, Apr 15, 2010.
What species of octopus is that? I know your big guy is brown and white spotted but this one look sizable. It is the second time in recent weeks that I have thought I was looking at a GPO but in the wrong waters.
Stellar! I just found the same video on the BuzzFeed site and posted it to my Facebook wall. Crazy thing is, this isn't the first time I've heard about Grand Theft Ceph. Another video on YouTube shows an Octo persistently trying to grab a tool away from a diver:
And then there were at least two instances of divers on nature shows losing their cameras to aggressive Humboldts, who grabbed away the equipment and hauled it down to the benthic depths at top speed before the divers could retrieve it.
This raises all sorts of strange questions. Why are cephs attracted to this sort of hardware? Why do they insist on taking it? Certainly, if they can taste with their arms, they must recognize it as inedible. Humboldts are free-swimming and (as far as I know) do not use tools; I seem to recall that Octos may use objects to barricade their lairs, but spanners and camera equipment certainly wouldn't be practical for that purpose.
So what are they doing with this stuff -- selling it on eBay?
I have wondered if the shiny stuff they grab have polarizing glass that reflect back the light they see and we don't. Cameras often have polarzing filters in front of the lens and some masks are coated that way. Haggs' in situ experiments did not seem to suggest just shiny objects were of particular interest and we have seen them take sticks and baster bulbs in the aquarium.
Way back in the early days of Tonmo.com, we had a diver in the Vancouver area who reported on his visits to the local GPOs. He would go with a group of other divers. I started emailing him to learn more, and found that the divers often took the octopuses "presents" - those octopuses liked glitzy, shiny things, and especially liked the bright colored diving gloves. Some were known as being especially friendly and would come out to greet the divers and intereact a bit.
The whole subject of octopuses and their "possessions" is interesting. Some of our Tonmo octopuses have kept special objects in their dens (my Ollie had a litte 2" long glass bottle in which I'd placed some sand and a tiny shell. I thought she'd use it as a toy, but she hauled it into her den and every night she slept with her arm around it (her den was facing the front of the tank, and you could look in a see her sleeping holding it close beside her).
These animals never stop amazing me... every time I think I have a handle on them something else comes up to show me there is SO much more.
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