Touching Octopus

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by nickcoletti, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. nickcoletti

    nickcoletti O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Maybe this have already been talked about, maybe it hasn't but i figured i would ask anyway. My octopus is very active and actually only comes out during the day:smile: . He spends the whole day trying to get my attention because when i come around it usually means one of two things...food or hand contact which it seems to love more than anything. We play tug-o-war all the time and he even tried to get me with jets of water. Seeing DHyslop's post on that bite made me think twice about hand contact but its hard to resist. Now for my question, lately when he lets go of my hand a hand full of particles come off and float in the water. It looks almost as if its shedding the tips of its suckers because they are round and about the size of his suckers. Has anyone had this happen and if so should i be worried?
     
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes, I've forgotten how to express this anatomically correctly, but their suckers can shed.

    I think you can play with your octopus and avoid letting him cover your hand, which is when you get bitten - his beak has to contact your hand.

    Nancy
     
  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Nickcoletti,

    I thought those were egg casings and several others had different ideas but you win the prize. Jean has confirmed that they shed the inside layer of skin on their suckers routinely.
     
  4. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Octopus regularily shed the skin on the inside of the suckers! Just be sure that your hand is wet before you touch him (lessens the heat), and that there are no chemicals on it like detergent, sunscreen, hand creme etc.

    Usually it's best to let them take the initiative with contact, lessens the chances of a nip, although as D found out it doesn't negate it entirely!

    J
     
  5. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    hmmmmmmm a bit of cross posting, I see :lol:

    J
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Jean,
    Trap never bit me - It was my LION fish that I ran into and was stung :oops: and Miss Piggy, my anemone that thinks my hand in the tank means it is feeding time and puts out stinging cells to be sure to get more than her share.

    Learning when to use vinegar (I do think the undistilled works best) and when to use HOT water has been a useful bit of knowledge :roll: and somehow, I expect to reuse the information since I can't seem to make myself use gloves and have never been able to keep my hands out of my tanks.
     
  7. nickcoletti

    nickcoletti O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Thanks Guys!!!
     
  8. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    :oops: I need to read things more thoroughly! My thoughts do tend to be cephalocentric :lol:

    J
     
  9. tywtly

    tywtly GPO Registered

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  10. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Having given pointers on touching octopus I have to say that it isn't really something I would actively encourage. We don't allow petting of the aquarium octopus for example! It's hard on the skin and stress levels of the octopus and potentially hard on you. Although the venom doesn't seem to be particularly toxic to humans, many species haven't been tested (and I'm NOT volunteering :grin:) so we don't actually know how toxic they really are plus there's a huge potential for allergic reaction. We've had to air lift a student to hospital who had been bitten by a supposedly "safe" species, one I've been bitten by several times :roll: .......and that wasn't very comfortable either, lasted for 3 weeks and I lost fine motor control in my fingers :sad:.

    On the whole the safest way to "play" with your octopus is to have them play tag on the glass with your fingers (octopus inside:fingers outside:lol: ).

    J
     
  11. Michael Blue

    Michael Blue Wonderpus Registered

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    Was this permanent or did control return after the 3 weeks?
     
  12. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    It returned after about 5 weeks! I'd not recommend getting bitten by one of these......not fun!

    J
     
  13. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    which octopus was that? I know you've had several species...
     
  14. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Octopus warringa/huttoni It's a complex that's hard to ID and frankly I wasn't in a position to do a sucker count (too busy commenting on the parentage of the staff member who puts them in the tank and doesn't tell anyone :lol: or in one case trying NOT to comment, as we had a family with small children who were enjoying watching me "play" with the octopus......I know cos they told me so!!!!)

    J
     
  15. corw314

    corw314 Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    I tend to favor the tag on the glass. I think in all the octopuses I have had, only 2 have gotten "ahold" of me. For some reason and maybe it's not a bad idea, I am very cautious about getting nipped. Thinking about it, when Jess was 5 she got nipped by Inklet. Seeing that recent reaction to a bite, and being she is "allergic" to several things, probably not a good idea to ever let her get that close again.
     

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