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View Diary: Marine Life Series: Stupid Octopus Tricks (34 comments)

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  •  Very, VERY CLEVER and VERY VERY Difficult to keep (9+ / 0-)

    Hi,

    Neat movie, thanks!

    When I got to grad school in 1998,  I met a guy who  was working on behavior in octopi.  He caught 4 in puget sound, octopus #1 died on the way back to upstate NY.  He spent the next 3 months without sleep trying to keep the remaining three alive.  

    They are very, VERY clever. He spent days watching the tanks to make sure they would be ok and the minute he left to the bathroom the trouble would begin. The little buggers would block up the water circulation intake with a rock or even themselves (Stephen thought it was because then the tank would fill up and there would be more room to move around).  Then the tank would overflow, the pump would aspirate, salt water would pour down the cabinets and would set off the circuit breakers when it shorted out the electricals.

    Octopus #2 died in week 3 when the tank went anoxic after pulling these stunts on a weekly and sometimes daily basis.

    Octopus #3 died when she overflowed the tank, which loosened the top, snuck out and expired on the floor.

    Octopus #4 died when Stephen went home for Christmas and left it in care of another Grad student.  John T. went to the dinner with his family and received a call at 10 pm from the janiters that salt water was pouring into the hallway.  He found it dead on the floor.

    Octopi are beautiful creatures but I now put them in the realm of fantasy pets.  They smart, they are active, and they are able to manipulate their world.  They require huge quanities of clean salt water and salt water corrodes and degrades everything.  They are escape artists and saboteurs extraordinaire.  Without the proper facilites, they escape and that beautiful intelligent creature will die.

    As a side note, here is another beautiful intelligent creature that I would love to have but now know better about.

    http://www.mytoos.com/

    Charles

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