Octopus on Dry Land


Staff member
Museum Victoria


Octopuses, particularly those that live on the intertidal zone, like this small West Australian species of the genus Abdopus, are very capable of crawling over dry land.

These octopuses spend most of the day hiding in holes deep in the reef, only emerging when the tide has receded, and the intertidal zone has been transformed into a series of isolated pools. This octopus then moves from pool to pool, feasting on the many fishes and crustaceans that have been trapped in the pools by the outgoing tide. This octopus may also flee the pool to trek across dry land if threatened by a predator, or in this case, two biologists with a video camera.

This octopus was filmed on an intertidal reef north of Broome in Western Australia. It is a newly-discovered species and is currently undescribed.

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