Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Octopus snatches coconut and runs

An octopus and its coconut-carrying antics have surprised scientists.

Underwater footage reveals that the creatures scoop up halved coconut shells before scampering away with them so they can later use them as shelters.

Writing in the journal Current Biology, the team says it is the first example of tool use in octopuses.

One of the researchers, Dr Julian Finn from Australia's Museum Victoria, said: "I almost drowned laughing when I saw this the first time."

He added: "I could tell it was going to do something, but I didn't expect this - I didn't expect it would pick up the shell and run away with it."

The veined octopuses (Amphioctopus marginatus) were filmed between 1999 and 2008 off the coasts of Northern Sulawesi and Bali in Indonesia. The bizarre behaviour was spotted on four occasions.

No comments: