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Curling leg behavior


O. vulgaris
Apr 27, 2007
In dwhatley's thread, "Trapper is finally here!", there is a video in the first post which shows his octopus curling its legs wildly.

Why do some octopuses do this? Or do all octopuses do this? Is it more common in certain species? My Octopus does this too and I was wondering why.
Ours do too, we pput it down to some sort of "grooming" behaviour as shortly after they often shed sucker skin etc. Maybe it helps loosen dead skin cells, maybe it just feels good!!!

When they wrap there legs back up over there body its a defensive position which allows them to grab any approaching threat and move to bite fairly easily.
The Mercatoris appear to do this more as a feeding posture than out of fear. Even at 4 months Trapper's offspring filter feed more than hunt and maintain this position most of their waking hours. If they are frightened, they either withdraw into their shells or zoom across the net.
Usually its grooming. If you see it doing this behavior without the presence of anything else or in its site, then its most likely always grooming. I would see this once in a while at adventure aquarium here in NJ...the giant octopus likes sticking to a side of the tank and staying there and often cleans itself.

Sometimes they appear to turn inside out, but its normal. And usually after it does this you see translucent suction cups falling to the ground so they shed.