Most of us haven’t seen a real life octopus and most of us know only that they have tentacles but now you can get an idea of how octopuses behave socially.
Opinions about octopuses are very different. Some see them as scary marine creatures that will strangle you with their tentacles, while others see them as exotic food. Marine biologists, who have a better idea of what octopuses are and what they do, thought, until recently, that they were quite solitary sea creatures, which don’t socialize or interact much with other cephalopods.
However, a recent discovery shows us that octopuses can actually have quite a sociable behavior. The discovery was made by a team formed by researchers coming from Sydney, Alaska and New York who studied the animals in Australia’s Jervis Bay with the help of a GoPro. They recorded a 52 hours footage of octopuses social life and behavior.
They decided to make the footage after one of the oceanographers observed a gathering of tentacles during a dive. He posted his discovery on a website of cephalopod “fans” and later on other scientists have joined him.
Observing octopuses is not an easy task the population was of about 50 and they looked very similar. Moreover, it seems that they can change color and shape when they interact, so keeping track of who’s who has proved to be very difficult for the researchers.
The change of color happens depending on how relaxed or threatened the octopus feels. For example, if two octopuses are arguing or fighting they each try to look as threatening as possible so they change their color into a darker shade and try to get bigger, to discourage their opponent.
What is not clear yet is whether the gathering the team observed was a normal, usual one, or whether it was an exception. This means that it is also not very clear if the octopuses are indeed sociable or simply tolerant with their fellow eight-limbed creatures. The footage shows the sea animals fighting vigorously and pushing each other aside.
Therefore, until another group of this kind is observed, there is no saying on the real behavior of octopuses. However, it is still very interesting seeing them interact with each other.
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