Underwater video cameras have recorded more than 100 cases of gloomy octopuses hurling silt and shells at each other in Jervis Bay, Australia.
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The video – which has a value of about 24 hours – was taken in 2014 and 2015, but only now the videos have been fully analyzed. The team of researchers who studied his behavior published Their findings today are in Plus One.
dark octopus (or sydney vulgaris) (Velvet octopusIt is native to the waters off the coast Australia and New Zealand. They are rusty brown in color and have white eyes. Octopuses mostly eat mollusks but have also been documented eating individuals of their own kind. According to the Australian Museum.
In the videos, the eight-armed cephalopods collect material from the sea floor such as silt and shells, Then push it through the water using the siphon and the arms. Were octopuses before Notice the sand blasting Who will shove them but don’t throw away more important things like seashells.
The researchers found that the octopuses had to move their blades into an unusual position – under the web of the octopus’s arms – to eject the material, indicating that they were deliberately throwing the material away.
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The teams observed both sexes throwing material; about half of the throws were done while interacting with other octopuses. Only about 17% of the throws actually hit their targets, so if you’re a sports agent reading this, think twice before signing up a gloomy octopus. The eight arms clearly aren’t as much of an advantage as they seem.
And if we’re splitting hairs (or gills, or whatever), the octopuses are not hurling objects at their foes, Cy Young-style. The propulsion is entirely driven by their siphons; the arms are simply directing the material.
But look up define”Throw. “ Technically, that’s what octopuses do, although it’s a poor enough connection that researchers refer to the verb as “throws up” in quotes.
Since some throws were by male octopuses and some by female octopuses, and occurred in the presence and absence of other octopuses, researchers aren’t entirely sure of the motive here. The team believes, in at least some cases, that throws have a social purpose. Considering that in some of the videos, the octopuses are literally covered in silt that a nearby octopus has thrown at them, that seems to be true.
Researchers in the study note that octopuses are generally antisocial, but sometimes show tolerance to other individuals. However, evidence that another member of your species is covered in silt, algae and shells may require further examination.
The grim throwing behavior puts octopuses on a short list of species that have shown some sort of throwing behavior, along with chimpanzees, capuchins, elephants, and polar bears, Egyptian vultures, and a few others.
Octopuses are very bright creatures. Maybe they have a good reason to throw things. We just need to be bright enough to know what they’re up to.
More: Researchers have finally figured out how octopuses taste with their arms
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