Monday, January 11, 2010


Invertebrates puts coconuts to good use

Image source

Australian scientists have discovered a one of a a kind specie of octopus in Indonesia that collects coconut shells for shelter. Half cut coconuts that humans discard into the ocean became convenient shelters for the octopus. The veined octopus or Amphioctopus marginatus, was documented gathering the coconut shells from the sea floor, emptying them out and carrying them under their bodies for up to twenty meters. The octopus then assembles two half cut coconut shells to make a spherical hide out. Julian Finn, a research biologist of Museum Victoria in Melbourne states that this is an example of tool use that have never been recorded in invertebrates before and that witnessing the octopus grabbing the shell and dragging it across the ocean floor is quite entertaining.

Octopuses often use foreign objects as shelter, but the veined octopus literally goes the extra mile by preparing the shells, carrying them long distances and reassembling them as shelter elsewhere.
Simon Robson, associate professor of tropical biology at James Cook University in Townsville states that this significant phenomenon is just one more way to prove that these invertebrates are very intellectual creatures capable of complex behavior.


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