Cabrillo Journals: The Spunky Bimac with a Napoleon Complex


Nov 8, 2003
Well, scince I'm sort of a VIP at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro, California, I am allowed to go behind the scenes in the breeding lab, where there are gallons of water with enough alge to turn the water orange and green, baby pipefish as thin as pipecleaners, and a spunky 6-inch long bimac used to run mazes with a Napoleon complex (a little toughie) and so every time I visit, I'll report on what goes on, oh, and just as a footnote, be aware that not every report will be a maze run.

Cheers! :glass: :cheers: :beer: :octopus: :smile: Such appropriate Smilies!
Hey, that sounds interesting! Glad you're taking an interest in the little fellow! We're always eager to read octo reports.

Thanks Nancy, expect a report later today (Coastal Time) I'm going to see if I can get one in about every other weekend. :smile:
Welp, I'm back! And see! I bring the tidings of:


Well, the little guy seems to be warming up to me, and as it turns out, he's a californicus, not a Bimac. Apparently, there are four octos in the Aquaculture Lab, some being Big-Eyes, others, Reds. Plus, he's not the main aggressor, there's a smaller one who has a history of squirting, inking, biting, and even drawing blood, the Big-Eye I'm talking about is just a little playful, all maze-runnin' and no play makes californicus a dull Octo, heh, heh :roll:.

Anyways, here's the update:

Little Big-Eye needed to have the old crabshells dumped out, so we found him in the little plastic cup he uses as a den and set him on the wet lab bench and dumped the shells and water into a bucket, suprisingly, when we found his "den" he was still inside. After a while, it was time for lunch, I had the privilage to snag a little tidepool crab out of the crab tank and drop him in the Octo's Citter Carrier. He stayed in his cup, while the crab hid in the corner of the tank, out of sight. I repositioned the cup, but the crab moved himself to right in front of it, so I just set the cup down so he had nowhere to go, oddly, ( :? ) the crab waltzed right in. A minute and a half later, the Octo had a bulge in his crown of arms, and a little later, there were two little legs near the entrance to his cup, which he blew at me. I took the exhaust tube of the filter and promptly blew it back, which soon became a game of "Squirt-a-War".

After a while, Andre who runs the mazes, a woman I just met who's name I'm going to find out, and I were just sitting around in the lab talking, and I took a look into LBE's tank to find that he was climbing out of his cup and pressing himself on the side of the tank. I got the message very quickly; "You put it in here now clean it up :evil:!" So I took a pair of long tweezers and picked the shell out and put it in the bucket with the others. A little while later my mom came so I took her back to pet him, she seemed a little hesitant, but like he often says, Andre said it was fine, "No worries". Suprisingly, with her worm phobia, and the similarity in texture with an Octo's arm and an earthworm, she enjoyed it, but as she was having fun, the little joker was trying to sneak out, backwards, :jester:. It took some excessive pulling and nudging, but he eventually slipped back in.

Well, there you have it, update number one for Cabrillo Journals: The Spunky Big-Eye with a Napolean Complex

P.S. Expect a Maze-Run Update come Dec 26! Happy Trails!

Thanks for telling us all about Little Big-Eye who lives in cup!
I always enjoy octopus stories.
Looking forward to the next update, and hearing more about the maze.

Wow Nancy, aren't we a Loyal- um...... Goyle :wink:. As for the mazes, I got to see them, they're Rubbermaid bins with plastic walls applied using silicon caulk, one has "roads" lined with electrical tape to see if he'll remember a series of turns, or remember which color of tape to follow. The other has several holes in the walls making many different possible paths through wide or narrow holes to see if he can comprehend quanatative and qualitative analysis, Andre tells me the smartest Octo recorded is up there with a three-year old child :shock: (dogs, pigs, and cats I knew, but a preschooler amazes me).
Welp. the Bimac on display has been replaced, the new one has settled in nicely, and scince my birthday's on a Monday, we celebrated today, and I return with:


Well, today I got up close and personal with all four of the Big-Eyes in the Aquaculture Lab, for it was cleaning time! Oh, and I found out the main maze-runner's name: Fabunacci, Nacho for short, one of the students named him, according to Andre: "she's a nutty one" :?. Anyway, Nacho got fed this morning, but scince there was no big crabs left, he had to deal with a little morsel who kept on rushing toward Nacho and trying to ward him off, which annoyed Nacho, especially scince the crab kept poking him with his legs on the count of it having no claws. Anyway, the octos were being pretty anal, being moved from their tanks into a big bowl, and being moved back, I'll go through each one seperatly.

1) Nacho was hard to get out of his tank, he almost slid out and onto the water table in between another octo's tank and the crab tank. Luckily, we pushed him back into his tank, and he slid into his plastic den, so we got him out easily, but he had two little crab snacks in the tank we had to retrieve and put in the bowl with him, Andre watched him while I cleaned the tank. As for getting him back in, we didn't have to resort to pouring all the water out, forcing him to crawl back, but we used the modern magic of the plastic ladel, and the human hand, but he did squirt up at us as we preformed this delicate operation, luckily, he missed.

2) The other larger octo had went in the bowl with his den, but came out seperately, he cooperated for the most part, but had to be ushered into his tank.

3) The smaller octos were another story, the inking, squirting, biting one turned out to be a female, and she looked harmless, small, pale, and somewhat transparent, she came into the bowl difficultly, she had to be chased around to get into her fake den, and when we got her in, she seemed like she was going to cooperate, but at lightning speed, she started squirting all over the place, so she had to have a black plastic pane put over her to calm her down, but she actually started escaping! She started to lift up the cover and slip a couple arms out, for a tiny thing with no bones, she was really, really, strong. When we got her back in, we had to empty the bowl, and push her into the tank, no matter what it was, she just had to do the opposite :lol:.

4) The last octo was a smaller one, and Andre said he was acting out the most this morning, but I think he was afraid of me, I watched him while Andre cleaned the tank this time, I wanted to give him and easy time, and the octo never came out of his den, we put the pane over him, and I took a look while Andre was gone, he was sticking out a little bit, but he stuck himself back in. Getting him back in only required moving his den.

Afterwards, Andre and I went out back and started building a new maze, taking panes of plastic and setting them up using silicon caulk. Remember kids, using a caulking gun may remind you of Squeez-E-Cheez, but don't eat it! Chef Tako of Deep Fried Live can teach you about safety in the kitchen in the Cephalofun section of!

There you have it, Update number two, expect one every other week, and a maze run on the twenty-sixth.

Hi OctopusV,

Thanks for your latest report - it's interesting reading all the details. Of course, we're all waiting for the maze run!

By the way, if the previous bimac had an armspan of 3 feet, that would give him about 18 inch arms, as I understand it. I think Ollie is that size. Octopuses are difficult to measure, because they're always changing sizes!

Thanks Nancy! 18 inch arms, that sounds about right, Octos don't stop growing, just like snakes, anyway the maze run is just around the corner! Fabinacci and the others are ready!
UPDATE#3 (sorry it came late, lots of setbacks)

JUSTIN DIDN'T COME!!! :x Sorry folks, Justin didn't come, so there was no maze run. On a lighter note, I met the girls who named the Octos, so I learned their names. We had quite a few people stopping by to see what we were doing in the Aquaculture Lab so we decided to sho them the Octos by moving them into plastic basins. I got to move Nacho into a bucket. He slipped out of my hands, I lifted up my knee and caught him with my hands, but he slipped out again and slid onto my knee and almost escaped into a cabinet, but I got him in the bucket, I'm real professional :oops:.

After we moved three of the Octos back home we had the largest one test out a new maze. He was a little too big for it and kept sliding over walls, plus, he wasn't hungry, so he had no drive to go to the end of the maze to get the crab, eventually, the girls left, and it was up to Andre and I to get him back home, which was really difficult, he didn't want to go one way, he didn't want to go another, we eventually just let him be, then Mike Schaat came in and I got to meet him. The Octo almost slid out of the maze and onto the floor, so then Mike left. Eventually, we got him back home.

Now for what you've been curious about: the names.

Nacho: Short for Fabunacci and star of this journal, second largest, he's wily, tricky, and almost always is a hair away from escaping. I honestly don't know what we're going to do with him.

George: Largest Octo and boy is he big for a Big-Eye, He behaves most of the time, but occasionally he gets a little frisky, he was the one who ran the maze this time.

Phobe: Second smallest one, she is just a really mean one, she's normally white, but today she started blushing bold red in certain places when she got angry, she has a history of squirting, biting, inking, and drawing blood :shock:. When she has to be removed from her tank, she rubs up against the edge, so the tip of her mantle it rubbed almost off, but it's growing back nicely.

Fred: Smallest Octo, he is the worst behaved next to Phobe, he hasn't bitten anyone, but he's inked a couple of times, he doesn't cooperate as well as we'd like him, it's as if he has to cover for Phobe when she's feeling calm. I'm not sure, but one girl told me he's a boy and the other, a girl.

Anyway, I hope that held you at bay for now, I'm going to see if I can get a maze run on Monday, but it all depends on Justin, I hope he comes.
Hi OctopusV,

You have quite a personality range in your octo friends!

And you're finding out what I've heard again and again - it's really hard to hold an octopus! (Fortunately, I leave Ollie in her tank.)

Looking forward to the next report,

Wonder if we could start a world record for holding the most octopuses at once?

very good V!!!
Thanks you guys! I kinda needed some more people posting here, I'm starting to shift into the tool-using stage of Octo-holding-evolution, the tool: a large plastic soup ladel.:lol: I'll try to get a maze run in later today!

Shop Amazon

Shop Amazon
Shop Amazon; support TONMO!
Shop Amazon
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.