Sticky Fingers

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Gary
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Sticky Fingers

Post by Gary » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:50 am

:D Click on the link to watch the video. WOW!


Thieving octopus displays remarkable skills on camera in South Africa
The octopus is highly intelligent and extremely clever, but researchers in South Africa were still surprised to witness, on videotape, one of the mollusks stealing a bait canister that had been secured to a chain in front of an underwater camera.

The octopus managed this incredible feat by untying three cable ties, while fighting off a pajama catshark. (The octopus appears at the 1:00 mark of the video posted below, and the shark soon afterward.)

The footage is from earlier this season but science writers only recently began to reveal the nature of the University of Cape Town research, which involves a study of the pea-green waters of False Bay, and the type of critters that exist in a coastal region thought to be over-exploited.

Of the great octopus caper, research assistant Lauren de Vos told the Cape Times: "We were flummoxed by how clever they are, smart enough to un-clip the bait canister which is not easy, and we've had several pieces of equipment stolen. We've got it all on film."

The cameras, placed in front of baited canisters, run continuously for an hour at a time and allow scientists to document species and behaviors. The project has been ongoing for about three years.

Several types of sharks, including a great white, are among the predator species to have been tallied, though the larger sharks do not appear in the accompanying video.

The project is designed, De Vos said, "to get an understanding of the conservation status of these species."

What researchers did not count on was having to deal with thieving octopi.
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Re: Sticky Fingers

Post by Gary » Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:09 pm

OOPS! I put this in the wrong forum. Would a Mod please move it?
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Re: Sticky Fingers

Post by RJDiogenes » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:35 pm

^^ Done.

That was amazing. I love research into animal intelligence, and octopi have always demonstrated great cleverness, at least anecdotally. They certainly have great problem-solving skills, but I'd like to see more investigation into how self-aware their intelligence is.
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Re: Sticky Fingers

Post by Gary » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:38 am

I do know that if people have salt-water aquariums at home that the top of the tank has to be very secure. Someone I knew many years ago once told me his octopus escaped and was found part-way to the kitchen. It lived, but still, they're devious little turds.
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Re: Sticky Fingers

Post by Lupine » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:40 pm

Shortly before my mom passed away we took her to the beach and she found an octopus in a tide pool. Totally made her day. It was interesting. Most of the other animals I saw that day- crabs, fish, slugs- go about their business and ignore you. An octopus will actually look back at you.

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Re: Sticky Fingers

Post by RJDiogenes » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:50 pm

I remember you telling that story. Very interesting that they look back at you-- I've never been close enough to an Octopus to notice that.
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Re: Sticky Fingers

Post by Gary » Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:02 am

He wanted to hug your face.



















What? :D
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Re: Sticky Fingers

Post by RJDiogenes » Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:43 pm

And when an octopus hugs you, you stay hugged.
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Re: Sticky Fingers

Post by jgc » Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:57 pm

OK, I finally ventured into the science forum.

As I watched this video, I was amazed how the octopus either held on to the shark or "stood" on it to keep it from interfering with him as he worked to get the bait canister. That was so cool!
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Re: Sticky Fingers

Post by RJDiogenes » Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:35 am

Yeah, I'd love to know what he was thinking. "Stupid little pest. Get your own bait." :lol:
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Re: Sticky Fingers

Post by Lupine » Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:24 pm

Welcome to the Science Forum, jgc! :hello:

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Re: Sticky Fingers

Post by jgc » Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:35 pm

Thanks. I only stick my nose in occasionally, but I'll be around.
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