Octopus Volcano on TV

Nancy

Titanites
Staff member
Moderator
#1
Just saw an interesting new octopus program on Animal Planet.
It's called Octopus Volcano and it's about our ceph friends living around an island off Italy (Stromboli) with a live volcano. The water surrounding this island teems with octopus, mostly O. vulgaris. Researchers are interested in proving that the octopus can hear the very low sounds generated by the volcano before it is about to erupt (yes, they can, and they hurry away). Great octo shots!

It will be repeated on Saturday 6/16 at 9:00pm and Sunday 6/17 at 1:00pm (not sure whether these times are Eastern or Central).
Don't miss it!

Nancy
 

Cairnos

O. vulgaris
Registered
#3
Nancy;96144 said:
Researchers are interested in proving that the octopus can hear the very low sounds generated by the volcano before it is about to erupt (yes, they can, and they hurry away).
Nancy
So when they mine hydrothermal vents they should take an octo in a cage and check to see if it gets frantic. Beats the heck out of canaries, especially as it's such a pain to get them into thier little wet souts. :grin:
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#4
Cairnos,
Humerous thought but possibly not as far fetched as you think. I read somewhere long ago and the details have vacated my memory but I seem to recall the navy working with dolphins.
 

Cairnos

O. vulgaris
Registered
#5
dwhatley;96148 said:
Cairnos,
Humerous thought but possibly not as far fetched as you think. I read somewhere long ago and the details have vacated my memory but I seem to recall the navy working with dolphins.
If we're thinking of the same thing I recall hearing that they tried to train them to attach mines to enemy vessels. I never heard of this being a success (of course if it was they wouldn't announce it) but I'd imagine that the cost to train, maintain, and transport attack dophins means it's just cheaper to use divers (and you get less fuss from animal rights activists). Not sure how easy it would be to train a dolphin to discriminate between enemy vessels, your vessels, and third parties.

"Uh flipper, didn't you have a mine when you went out? Where's the mine boy....come on, be a good boy and show daddy where you hid the mine..."
 

monty

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Supporter
#6
Cairnos;96150 said:
If we're thinking of the same thing I recall hearing that they tried to train them to attach mines to enemy vessels. I never heard of this being a success (of course if it was they wouldn't announce it) but I'd imagine that the cost to train, maintain, and transport attack dophins means it's just cheaper to use divers (and you get less fuss from animal rights activists). Not sure how easy it would be to train a dolphin to discriminate between enemy vessels, your vessels, and third parties.

"Uh flipper, didn't you have a mine when you went out? Where's the mine boy....come on, be a good boy and show daddy where you hid the mine..."
I seem to remember hearing that there are some urban-legend exaggerations of this, like "the navy is training dolphins as suicide bombers," but they're based on some real program using dolphins to do something like locate and identify mines without setting them off. I'm not sure I ever disentangled the story, but it seems like if you train a dolphin, it takes quite a bit of investment, so I doubt they'd want to risk the animal unnecessarily, much like police dogs or search-and-rescue dogs get treated fairly well.
 

Neogonodactylus

Haliphron Atlanticus
Staff member
Moderator
#7
O.K., I usually don't like to tell anecdotal stories, but I have one experience that I will never forget. Several years ago I was showing some students a large aquarium with several Hapalochlaena lunulata. The blue-rings were housed in individual clear plastic containers waiting to be transferred to other aquaria. All were setting quietly on the sides of their jars in normal cryptic coloration (blue rings barely visible). Suddenly most started to display their blue rings. As I started to comment that I wondered what had set them off, we felt a fairly strong (5.4) earthquake roll through the building. I would say that the octopus responded about 1 - 2 seconds before we felt the quake, but I've always been convinced that they felt it before we did.

Roy
 

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