Study Finds That the Gloomy Octopus Likes to Throw Things
A new study shows that one species of octopus tosses debris, sometimes at members of their own species and other fish.
Violence is never the answer. But a frustrated toss of a soft object—or some ocean floor debris—can be incredibly cathartic. Just ask the gloomy octopus.
A study published last week in the journal PLOS ONE found the gloomy octopus (aka Octopus tetricus, or the common Sydney octopus), a largely antisocial creature native to the waters of Australia and New Zealand, will sometimes "throw" objects through the water.
Throughout the study, thrown shells, algae, silt, and other materials occasionally made contact with another octopus or a passing (and presumably innocent) fish. In fact, 33% of the total observed throws (which are more like expulsions of water that propel accompany marine material) seemed to be aimed at neighboring octopi, those movements boasting peculiarities that led researchers to believe they were, indeed, targeted hits.
Photo: PLOS ONE
It seems that the gloomy octopus has officially joined a small but mighty group of animals known for their throwing arm—or in this case, arms. Consider this the perfect story for a moody Monday.
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