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 Post subject: Octopus
Unread postPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 7:15 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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So i've just got back from a great day at WCNP.

Despite the cold I decided to go for a swim in the lagoon. So i'm wading in water as deep as my ankles and I see movement in the distance. For some reason, my first thought was, 'great, i'm in the water with a Puffy'. Then it swims towards me.

It's an ocotpus! A big one! In just 6 inches of water. Is this normal? Never encountered an octopus in my life before. It followed me everywhere I walked but didn't come closer than 2 feet. Not knowing anything about ocotopuses, I didn't know whether to feel threatened or not. Got some great photos though. He also kept changing colours which was awesome.

Can anyone tell me a bit more about my octopus? I'm worried he was a bit lost...

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 Post subject: Re: Strange Octopus Sighting
Unread postPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 7:35 pm 
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WOW!!!

Never seen one live myself.....beautiful..and you made a friend today!!! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Strange Octopus Sighting
Unread postPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 7:50 pm 
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It is biiiiiig! Normally those guys are in very deep water, as far as I know, which isn't very far :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Strange Octopus Sighting
Unread postPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 8:14 pm 
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Great photo Moose! :clap: :clap:

I've seen many octopus while diving at Tsitsikamma and Plettenberg-Bay, but I've never seen them in such shallow water though. Interesting indeed! :clap: :clap:


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 Post subject: Re: Strange Octopus Sighting
Unread postPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 8:55 pm 
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I have a lot more photos as well. I spent a good 45 minutes with the octopus before I decided to leave it alone. It was so interesting to watch it move and change colour. I even got squirted a couple of times, but it never tried to leave and seemed quite interested in me. Maybe my ankles looked tasty...

Are octopuses dangerous in any way?


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 Post subject: Re: Strange Octopus Sighting
Unread postPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 9:07 pm 
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They do have a parrot like beak in there somewhere...which could bite, I'm sure. :shock:

Lockie (SO) thinks maybe it was attracted to your sunscreen scent, perhaps? 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Strange Octopus Sighting
Unread postPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 9:32 pm 
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Trrrrrrrremendous pic! And the story of your interlude. Plse post all yr pics.

Shame, the little fellow was probably feeling lonely. Saw quite a couple of them in my younger days on the rocks in the Gans Bay/Franskraal/Pearly Beach region.

This seems like the Octopus marginatus

http://citysearch.yellowpages.co.za/blo ... ctopus.jpg

On the other hand, it might also be the Octopus cyanea

http://images.google.co.za/imgres?imgurl=http:

//www.oceanwideimages.com/images/11149/large/58M1633-01D-reef-octopus.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.oceanwideimages.com/categories.asp (search for octopus and enjoy the other pics whilst searching...!)

http://images.google.co.za/imgres?imgur ... 0%26um%3D1

No red tide on the way perhaps? (I pray not!)

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 Post subject: Re: Strange Octopus Sighting
Unread postPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 9:40 pm 
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For those of you that are interested:

All octopuses are venomous, but only the small blue-ringed octopuses are deadly to humans.[3] Moose? :big_eyes:

Octopuses are highly intelligent, likely more so than any other order of invertebrates. The exact extent of their intelligence and learning capability is much debated among biologists,[4][5][6][7] but maze and problem-solving experiments have shown that they do have both short- and long-term memory. Moose, unbelievable, this 'little' guy/gal is going to remember your interlude!

In laboratory experiments, octopuses can be readily trained to distinguish between different shapes and patterns. They have been reported to practice observational learning,[8] although the validity of these findings is widely contested on a number of grounds.[4][5] Octopuses have also been observed in what some have described as play: repeatedly releasing bottles or toys into a circular current in their aquariums and then catching them.[9] Octopuses often break out of their aquariums and sometimes into others in search of food. They have even boarded fishing boats and opened holds to eat crabs.[6]

Check out this source for more fascinating info on these highly intelligent animals:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octopus

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 Post subject: Re: Strange Octopus Sighting
Unread postPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 10:09 pm 
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I do not know too much about these interesting animals.

What I do know is that they are very adaptable, and can thrive in many different habitats. You will often find them in shallow water, living amongst rocks. (They are often captured by fishermen to be used as bait.)

So this sighting, though very special, is not strange at all. `

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 Post subject: Re: Strange Octopus Sighting
Unread postPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 10:12 pm 
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Hi Moose! A fantastic and very interesting sighting! :thumbs_up:
Now I must tell you what happened to us! We went to Cape Point in early April, and walked to a tidal pool. I was sitting on a rock right at the edge of the pool(was not as brave as you to swim in that cold water!) Next thing I know an octopus was watching me from the bottom of the pool, and slowly made its way up the rockface, to just below the surface of the water. We watched each other for a bit, and then its tentacles started coming out of the water, aiming for my ankle(the part of me closest to the water). I was amazed at this behaviour, but chickened out before the tentacles actually touched me, and moved my leg away. Soon as I moved away, the octopus went back into the water, and.... swam to where my SO(markw) was standing on a rock. Again the octopus came out of the water - about 80% of him and looked at us(Eagle Eyes and I had run to SO at this stage) before slipping back into the pool. He/she watched us from a submerged rock for some time, and when Eagle Eyes moved away from us and stood on another rock near the water, the octopus swam to her and watched her for a while. It then decided that it had had enuf of the watching game and retreated under a rocky ledge in the deep water. A very interesting but weird experience. It really seemed like the octopus was interested in us. And hearing your tale of the octopus following you - interested in you!

I would love to hear if anybody out there can explain this behaviour! (SO did not have any sunscreen on!)

@Elzet and Imberbe -just seen your posts! Thank you for all the info! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Strange Octopus Sighting
Unread postPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 8:14 am 
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Wow, thanks to everyone for the stories, advice and ideas. Who knew octopuses were so curious?

I wasn't wearing sunscreen :redface:

If I don't get around to posting the rest of the pics today, i'll get it done when I get back from Addo- Leaving tonight- woohoo!


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 Post subject: Re: Strange Octopus Sighting
Unread postPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 8:28 am 
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Imberbe wrote:
(They are often captured by fishermen to be used as bait.)


I've seen holiday makers hacking these animals to death on the rocks - for a calamari supper...

Moose, life just ain't fair! :mrgreen: Enjoy :thumbs_up:

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Last edited by Elzet on Sat May 02, 2009 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Strange Octopus Sighting
Unread postPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 8:29 am 
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Watch the way it changes colour:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Strange Octopus Sighting
Unread postPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 9:01 am 
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Octopusses are probably my favourite sea animals.
As Elzet posted they are highly intelligent, playful and investigate everything.
This also makes them a total havoc to sealife aquaria, recently one caused one of them (in the US I believe) to be totally flooded. It had unscrewed a watermain....
They do attack prey which is far larger then them, as the Antwerp Zoo found out years ago. They had added a zusterhaai (shark, around 2 meters long, can't think of the english name) to a tank holding an octopus...

Gone! :shock:
The octopus had made it into a nice dinner...

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 Post subject: Re: Strange Octopus Sighting
Unread postPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 10:36 am 
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Hi DQ - nice story! Do you perhaps have a website link?

Saw a black-and-white movie of a humongous, monstrous octopus from the abyss that swallowed/gulped a couple of boats many a moon ago (± aged four) - and from that day on I am quite scared of them... although it was all fiction and long before there was a Spielberg around... Come to think of it, don't know which I fear most - octopus or shark...

Was sitting on the rocks at Franskraal one day, aged ± nine, harvesting arikreukel/alikreukel/giant peri winkle, mussels and abalone for the pot with my parents and brother, day dreaming of the legend re people that used to live submerged in Atlantis, when next a huge brownish tentacle flew out of the water and landed next to my leg! And simultaneously the octopus trying to lift itself out of the water... Admittedly, that instantaneously concluded our mission for the day!

But they are indeed superb animals that I admire (from quite a respectable distance).

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