Octopus on dry land

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by Kate C
Publish date
24 November 2011
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A YouTube video, Octopus Walks on Land at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is doing the rounds at the moment and generating a bit of online discussion about this fascinating behaviour.

Dr Julian Finn filmed a similar event in Broome a few years back where a small, unnamed octopus (Abdopus sp.) crawled between rock pools at low tide. He says that it's not uncommon for intertidal octopuses to roam between pools in hunt of prey such as crabs or fish. They may also flee their tide pool to escape the attention of bigger, hungrier octopuses! In this video, he explains more about these terrestrial adventures.

 

Watch this video with a transcript

Like all cephalopods, octopuses breathe through gills and won't survive for long out of water. Julian has only seen octopuses crawl over dry land where the chance of them being trapped out of water is minimal. In captivity, it's not unknown for octopuses to turn up in strange places after breaking out of their tanks – including one that was found in a staircase!

Links:

MV Blog: Blue-ringed octopus project

MV News: Argonaut buoyancy

MV News: Tool use in Veined Octopus

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Johnny 25 November, 2011 14:13
Fascinating video Julian! I once observed Octopus maorum doing a similar thing at a Sorrento back beach on the Mornington Peninsula. Although it didn't travel a long distance, it moved from a large rock pool to an adjacent smaller one coming completely out of the water!
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