[Octopus]: Ripley - Abdopus sp My 'cephalopodic' journey-a beginner's progressive notes

KD5054

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How do you know if when you're making a brooding octopus uncomfortable or if it is just curiosity feeding wise- I've offered her food and the first time she immediately grabbed and took the offered morsel but after that time now she will reach out as far as she can and grabs hold of my hand. She tugs a little and then just holds on. Usually have to wait until she finally lets go.
Thoughts?
I'd hate to be upsetting her but she seems to watch me a lot. So not sure what to think.
 

DWhatley

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Not an easy question to answer, especially since she is brooding. I have posted videos with the comment that an animal is becoming curious and appears to see human attention followed by comments of ooos and ahhhs and then someone will see the video quite differently and suggest that the animal is barely tolerating my presence.:oops:. Alternately, I have disagreed with the meaning of a behavior that many insist is an unstressed cleaning routine but I feel strongly that it is a sign of stress.

That being said, if she is no showing strong coloration when she holds your finger, I suspect it is not a sign she is upset. If you want her to release you before she seems ready, sometimes gently stroking the top of the engaged arm will encourage release.

I have had a couple of brooding/senescing animals that did seem to want their skin stroked, possible because it was wasting and itched. One of my saddest memories was with an animal that would frequently approach my hand but would always withdraw her arm just before making contact. It was like she REALLY wanted to investigate but was afraid to do so but never did until minutes before she died (of old age) when she reached up and touched my arm and expired.
 

KD5054

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Yes it is a hard question- perhaps due to not knowing her long enough to have all her behaviors down to a T. That and the fact I want her to have a great last few days so naturally I wish to do the best.
Color wise she stays a lighter tone and doesn't fluctuate much. And then even started, at least today, to try and tug my hand down. But then she also keeps building everything she can get her arms on to build up a barricade.
I just want to check to see what others have experienced to help know what's good and what perhaps may make her feel like I'm too close?
Once she lets go she tends to pull back under an arm only to then come back out and observe things.
Hard to say as she keeps her head out and watches me as if she is used to me around.

She has also on one occasion reached and grabbed at a stick I was using to push some Marco algae down which was quite a distance from her making me assume it was more from curiosity then fear. She felt it and then released it
 

DWhatley

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This is only one example so not a lot to go by but here is a video of Mayaguarding her eggs against a starfish. Note she does NOT drag it TOWARD her den nor does she seem curious about it.

Here is a video of her capturing a "stick" to use for her den ;)

May I move this thread to the journals section? What name did you give her (I think you have said but I forgot :oops:)?
 

KD5054

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This is only one example so not a lot to go by but here is a video of Mayaguarding her eggs against a starfish. Note she does NOT drag it TOWARD her den nor does she seem curious about it.

May I move this thread to the journals section? What name did you give her (I think you have said but I forgot :oops:)?
Thanks! Hmm- yes she tries to pull me closer and then just holds onto my hand. If I try to move too much she tugs again. I just waited until she finally let go.
Sure! I named her 'Ripley'.
 

KD5054

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I'm thinking I'm going to try putting the starfish into a plastic container with tons of holes drilled to sort of pen her up so she stops bugging Ripley and give the little octos a better chance.
 

DWhatley

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It is probably a good idea to move the star as it is likely being driven to the den by the smell of either the eggs or the aging skin of the Ripley. I've not taken my serpents out but do know they will eat the eggs if the mother does not keep them at bay.
 

DWhatley

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You might consider dumping out the water every day since there is no flow through the bowel. I think you already had feed her some but giving her a little piece of shrimp (very small amount) daily or every other day should keep her fed.
 

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