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View Full Version : So.. octopus escape stories thread!


Calappidae
07/14/2014, 12:59 PM
I know aquariums housing these guys have to be locked and nearly air tight, but I wanted to hear some stories, not just for entertainment, but for the urgency of having to do so.

So let's hear what your escape artist have been up too!

I've heard one story of an octopus disappearing from somebody's tank.. his tank was upstairs while their main reef was downstairs. The next day they found him crawling back upstairs.. and half their fish were missing in the main tank :eek2:

PatOz
07/16/2014, 08:15 AM
I had a biology prof that told us about an octopus they had while she was in grad school that would leave its tank at night, crawl down a counter, up another counter, into the crab tank, eat crabs and then return to its own tank. They found out with security cameras because they thaought the cleaning crew was stealing the crabs.

Calappidae
07/16/2014, 08:56 PM
Amazing how intelligant they are! Remembered where his tank was too. Sometimes I can't find my own house :D

ViktorVaughn
07/17/2014, 07:55 AM
I know aquariums housing these guys have to be locked and nearly air tight, but I wanted to hear some stories, not just for entertainment, but for the urgency of having to do so.

So let's hear what your escape artist have been up too!

I've heard one story of an octopus disappearing from somebody's tank.. his tank was upstairs while their main reef was downstairs. The next day they found him crawling back upstairs.. and half their fish were missing in the main tank :eek2:

I had a biology prof that told us about an octopus they had while she was in grad school that would leave its tank at night, crawl down a counter, up another counter, into the crab tank, eat crabs and then return to its own tank. They found out with security cameras because they thaought the cleaning crew was stealing the crabs.


Wow, I had absolutely no ideas that they could do stuff like that. They can't be able to crawl that fast out of water, can they? Do they keep moist somehow, they look pretty slimy so maybe they are able to keep a layer of water on themselves? The crabs and the cleaning crew made me crack up. I just kept picturing all these scenarios where the crew was approached by someone about the missing crabs. How intelligent are they? Hard to quantify but how is their intelligence is comparison to other marine life?

lafayettereefer
07/17/2014, 12:52 PM
These stories are great. I've never been interested in keeping octopus but these stories make me realize how intelligent they really are and hungry.

BlueCoast
07/18/2014, 09:30 AM
Another one didn't like his lights getting turned on in the morning and decided to start shooting water at the light.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=96476905

goblyn
07/18/2014, 07:47 PM
I used to work at my university's aquarium. We had to put lead weights on the top to the octopus' aquarium. Otherwise he would escape at night and eat the other fish and inverts in various other tanks, only to return to his own aquarium before dawn.

Gonodactylus
07/24/2014, 03:38 PM
Working at a marine station in Australia, I caught several Abdopus aculeatus and set them up in individual tanks on a sea table. Each tank was fed seawater from an overhead pipe that fitted into a hole in the tank lid. Water flowed out of the tank through a stand-off drain fitted with a cloth filter. This type of system is nearly escape proof as long as the lid is secured. It turned out that I had more tanks than I did overhead pipes, so I connected one pipe to two tanks using a "T" fitting. As luck would have it, the connected tanks were adjacent and housed a male and a female. They would occasionally display to one another through the glass but that was the extent of their interaction. One morning I came to check the animals and found the male in the females tank mating with her. He had crawled up through his water inflow pipe, across the cross connector and down the female's supply pipe and into her aquarium. Impressive, particularly considering that the pipes were opaque and a very tight squeeze. Also, given that water was flowing from the common supply and through both arms, there wasn't any chemical signal for the male to follow. It took him several days to plan his route and execute it to engage in a tryst with the object of his desire.

Do I believe that the male planned his route to visit the female? Of course not! The behavior was fairly predictable. In a small tank with no lair, the male was constantly exploring the aquarium. The water pipe was not covered and was a tight fit, but A. aculeatus often explore tight crevices. The male was just lucky that he traveled straight across the "t" and didn't turn up and enter the main water supply. Who knows what supply line he might have come out through. Several of the aquaria housed puffers or triggers and he would have been lunch.

What really amuses me about this is that the story of the love-stricken male octopus quickly spread through the station and most people assumed that the male's jaunt was planned.

Roy

Astongt
09/19/2014, 02:09 PM
I had one for just about a year. Never tried to get out. I just kept him well fed and entertained with toys in the tank!

Ladipyg
09/27/2014, 08:08 PM
I had one for a year or so, they are great but do not have a long life span. My liked a baby's rattle, a ring of kiddie keys and a I would put his food in a cleaned baby food jar with a couple of holes in the lid....first time it took about 25 minutes for him to get the lid off, next time about 5. He would put the keys inside and then screw the lid back on. Great intelligent animals.

Betta132
09/28/2014, 11:48 PM
I heard about an octopus in one aquarium (I think it was in Germany?) that kept escaping and getting into other tanks to eat stuff. Thing was, the aquarium had a couple of guards that patrolled at night. They never saw a thing. The octopus apparently learned to sneak out, grab snacks, and get back in- but in the time it had before the guard came by. The only way they found out was they changed the schedule at one point and the guard came across an octopus crawling across the floor.
We should be glad they're purely aquatic. I think we'd have problems if octos and their cousins could breathe air.