[Encounters] Watch octopuses and bone-eating worms devour a whale skeleton off California coast

octobot

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From San Louis Opisbo Tribune:

The Nautilus team just discovered a whale skeleton on the seafloor covered in bone-eating worms, cusk eels, and octopus devouring this massive ...

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octobot

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From The Verge:

At one point, the crew hung out with an octopus that attached itself to their equipment. ... “The octopus is photobombing us right now,” the crew quips.

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OB

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I was about to post the same video, but bot beat me to it! Deap sea octopus are not my field, but I was surprised to see what appears to be scavenging behaviour. An alternative explanation might be they are attracted to the myriads of shrimp and isopods that are in turn lured by the carcass. Your thoughts?
 

tonmo

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Hmm, meaning, "I came for the shrimp but gee this decomposing whale is pretty good?" Could be both I suppose. I wonder what kind of "thud" a whale fall makes and whether that's what triggers the pilgramage.
 

OB

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Hmm, meaning, "I came for the shrimp but gee this decomposing whale is pretty good?" Could be both I suppose. I wonder what kind of "thud" a whale fall makes and whether that's what triggers the pilgramage.
It’s the (decomposing) organic matter which leaches into the water column, chemotaxis. I more specifically wondered if the octopodes even eat anything at all, from the carcass. Why not? I hear you thinking, Maybe beaks serve a purpose here, radulae most certainly. First time I’ve seen this🤔
 

OB

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It’s the (decomposing) organic matter which leaches into the water column, chemotaxis. I more specifically wondered if the octopodes even eat anything at all, from the carcass. Why not? I hear you thinking, Maybe beaks serve a purpose here, radulae most certainly. First time I’ve seen this🤔
From the Smithsonian article:
It was especially odd to see the octopuses clutching the skeleton, as the animals generally hunt live prey, but octopuses have been seen crowding around whale falls before. According to researchers on shore, the octopuses were likely chowing down on living crustaceans, not blubber remaining on the bones.
Read more: Watch Marine Life Feast on a Complete Whale Skeleton on the Ocean Floor
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tonmo

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promo in the paste! :lol: Good on them. But most importantly, good call on that, OB. Interesting dynamics with that event! Amazing that we can see that footage at all... as I said on Twitter recently, these dives provide MUCH better programming for viewers than the horrible cable news and other "regular" programming, I think we'd be better off if this were the mainstream!
 

DWhatley

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I suspect hunger and opportunity are most of the equation since we are quite successful in getting captive octos to take dead food. I have long thought that their foraging techniques brought them in contact with both dead and live food sources.
 

OB

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I suspect hunger and opportunity are most of the equation since we are quite successful in getting captive octos to take dead food. I have long thought that their foraging techniques brought them in contact with both dead and live food sources.
Will a captive octo take chicken, beef or pork? Or “only” dead crustacean?
 

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