Curiosity of the octopus

Common octopus, Octopus vulgaris, is an extremely curious animal towards everything that happens in its territory and this makes it one of the most intelligent species in the underwater world. In this video we see him emerge from his den intent on studying the camera specially placed on the seabed to test his curiosity.

Curiosity of the octopus - La curiosità del polpo - Sciarrano (Serranus scriba)

We identified it thanks to the presence of some fish such as the Sciarrano (Serranus scriba) and Donzella pavonina (Thalassoma pavo), intent on scrutinizing its den probably waiting for some food waste.

In the video you can also see the strategies that the octopus adopts to escape predators, in this case the diver, i.e. the mimicry and the splash of ink, almost never recurring to the bite of its mouth or rostrum, which would be very effective and painful, the in fact, the rostrum is similar to a parrot’s beak and octopuses use it to crush shells and to detach some molluscs from the rocks to then eat them.

Curiosity of the octopus - La curiosità del polpo -
Curiosity of the octopus – La curiosità del polpo –

Another feature that confirms the intelligence of this cephalopod species is the ability to switch from escape to interaction in this case with the diver. Once it is realized that the diver does not pose a threat, what we can call the mutual study phase begins. As can be seen, once attached to the arm, the octopus assumes the classic pose with curled tentacles, typical of when the animal is calm and no longer frightened, so much so that it does not break away until its curiosity is satisfied, and then escape into the blue and burrow to the bottom, thanks to a simple splash of the siphon.

Curiosity of the octopus - La curiosità del polpo -
Curiosity of the octopus – La curiosità del polpo –

Common octopus (Octopus vulgaris Cuvier, 1797) or octopus, erroneously called octopus (completely incorrect name from a zoological point of view), is a cephalopod of the Octopodidae family.

Habitat and distribution

It is a cephalopod mollusk that is very common in shallow waters, no deeper than 200 metres. It prefers rough, rocky substrates, because they are full of hiding places, fissures and small caves in which to hide: the absence of an endo- and exoskeleton allows it to take any shape, and to pass through very narrow tunnels. Present in all seas and oceans, it is also widespread in the Mediterranean Sea. In the Mediterranean it is mainly fished in two different periods of the year: from September to December (in good quantities, even if still small) and from May to July (period in which it is larger).


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