In a scene more reminiscent of a Gilliganâ€™s Island, octopuses are caught on film digging up discarded coconut shells from the ocean floor and scampering away with their booty to build shelters that would have made â€œThe Professorâ€ proud. The veined octopuses (Amphioctopus marginatus) were being studied off the coast of Northern Sulawesi and Bali in Indonesia when they were caught on video digging out the halved shells left over from human use that settled on the sea floor. It marks the first time an invertebrate was documented using a tool â€“ sophisticated behavior generally limited to mammals and birds. The cephalopods snatch up the wayward shell then making its pitch for the Heisman Trophy, scampering away with the shell tucked away like Alabama running back Mark Ingram heading for the end zoneâ€”some 20 meters! Later they are seen tipping one shell upwards, blowing out the mud and then using another on top of that as a makeshift roof for a cozy little shelter. From camouflage to homebuilder, the octopus sure is an amazing creature. Hats off to Australiaâ€™s Museum Victoria researchers Julian Finn and Mark Norman for bringing us this entertaining and unique video. Their research, â€œDefensive tool use in a coconut-carrying octopusâ€™,â€ was co-authored by Tom Tregenza and published in the journal Current Biology.
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