Smart Mr. Octopus

DHyslop

Architeuthis
Supporter
#1
At the store today I saw a small plastic tube full of Sweetarts with a flip-top lid. It took Mr. Octopus about a minute to open the lid and get at the crab within. After he had pulled it out he held tight to the container and floated around the aquarium for a few minutes.

I wasn't able to get the camera in time for the action, but here is afterward.









 

magikceph

O. vulgaris
Registered
#3
so your saying you put a crab in a tube with a flip-top lid and stuck it in there, and your octopus fliped the lid off and ate the crab. WOW, he is really intelligent.
 

Neogonodactylus

Haliphron Atlanticus
Staff member
Moderator
#5
What part of this story says that the octopus is intelligent? The octopus saw the crab, started pulling on the tube to get at it, by chance latched onto the lid which pulled open, and it gets the crab. The octopus, as far as I can tell from the posting, had no previous experience with the tube, had not seen how it opened, etc. It was pure luck that it grasped it in the right location and opened it. Next time it will probably focus its attention on the lid and perhaps will open it sooner. After a few trials, it may even get proficient at opening the tube. That will demonstrate some learning ability that you might want to call "intelligence". The first trial simple described a hungry octopus pulling at a barrier that it does not understand.

Roy
 

Michael Blue

Wonderpus
Registered
#6
I see what you're saying (even if you are Mr. Downer this morning, lol!) but if the Octo didn't have some intelligence at all, wouldn't it have simply wrapped itself around th part of the tube with the food in it and simply constricted and bit?

From a purely clinical standpoint your argument has some merit, but there are many animals who wouldn't have opened it at all...
 

cuttlegirl

Colossal Squid
Supporter
Registered
#7
Umm... Roy is a professor specializing in behavior of invertebrates. He is just stating that what you might observe and label as intelligence, may be some other type of behavior.
 

magikceph

O. vulgaris
Registered
#9
that was low, man... but i guess you could be right, im just saying if it was completely irrational and had absoluetly no intelligence, it probably would try to crack the bottle open, at the point where the crap was. Now if and only if the crab was at the bottom of the tube,next to the lid, it could have a chance of opening the lid out of pure luck. Therefore, it must have some intelligence.


....and i was trying to sound smart.
 

griffen7777

O. bimaculoides
Registered
#10
DHyslop,
I noticed the white spots on the black background of your tank.....are those baby snails?
I ask because both my tanks are dotted with them.
They must have been hitchhiking in and on my live rock.
Lastly I was wondering what species is Mr. Octopus?
 

DHyslop

Architeuthis
Supporter
#11
griffen7777;93073 said:
DHyslop,
I noticed the white spots on the black background of your tank.....are those baby snails?
I ask because both my tanks are dotted with them.
They must have been hitchhiking in and on my live rock.
Lastly I was wondering what species is Mr. Octopus?
Tube worms.
Yes.
Bimac.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#12
griffen,

I know Dan said the spots were tube worms but I suspect the fairly large white semi-circle is a tube worm (most of mine like that have pink feathers with an occassional bright red) but if have tiny dots that feel like shells they are likely to be copepod egg casings. If you look very closely (magnifying glass will help) you should see that the shells are a tiny swirl with an opening at one end.
 

cuttlegirl

Colossal Squid
Supporter
Registered
#13
dwhatley;93113 said:
griffen,

I know Dan said the spots were tube worms but I suspect the fairly large white semi-circle is a tube worm (most of mine like that have pink feathers with an occassional bright red) but if have tiny dots that feel like shells they are likely to be copepod egg casings. If you look very closely (magnifying glass will help) you should see that the shells are a tiny swirl with an opening at one end.
It is also possible that the shells are the tube worm Spirorbis.

http://www.pirx.com/gallery/worms/spirworm01
 

griffen7777

O. bimaculoides
Registered
#16
With my black background they remind me of a starry sky.
I kinda like them....as long as they dont cause any long term problems.
Would these be considered filter feeders?

Thanks everyone!
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#17
Jennifer,
It looks like you may have corrected a long held belief :oops: ! After viewing the link I wanted to compare the shells with those of pods and could not find any type of pod (cope or amphi) that produces a shell for its young (so much for educated LFS's). The shells I always have are usually more c shaped but some are spiral. I have lots of the larger, inch size tube worms but now I am not at all confident about the wall dwellers (other than that they are not harmful) because of their shape and the fact that I can't quite see well enough even with a low powered magnifying glass to determine if there are any "feathers"

THANKS!
 

cuttlegirl

Colossal Squid
Supporter
Registered
#18
dwhatley;93408 said:
Jennifer,
It looks like you may have corrected a long held belief :oops: ! After viewing the link I wanted to compare the shells with those of pods and could not find any type of pod (cope or amphi) that produces a shell for its young (so much for educated LFS's). The shells I always have are usually more c shaped but some are spiral. I have lots of the larger, inch size tube worms but now I am not at all confident about the wall dwellers (other than that they are not harmful) because of their shape and the fact that I can't quite see well enough even with a low powered magnifying glass to determine if there are any "feathers"

THANKS!
Copepods usually carry their eggs with them, next to their tails. I am not sure about amphipods...
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#19
Jenn,
This is what I found out when I went looking! I did find some amphipods that make some kind of "silk" house. Most of them bury in the substrate but some will make their homes on "hard surfaces" and expose only thier antennea (which could look like duster feathers).

The little "shells" I see most often are more "C" shaped than fully spiral and I can't see if there is a "feather" sticking our or not even with my magnifying glass so I continue to do research. I really feel rather dumb at this point since this was one of those things I have "known" for a long time :sad:
 

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