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Octo killing crabs & not eating them (?)

Jan 10, 2007
i know this things are amazingly smart, so...i'm going out on a limb and suggesting my octo is messing with me! here's why:

for the last 2 weeks he's been seeing me remove crab carcasses that he's left behind. since then, when i'm home during the day working on my comp, he'll come out and chase 2-3 crabs, catch one and strangle it, but not eat it! he'll just release it and go back to his lair and watch me remove it (don't want dead stuff in there, right?).

i feel like he's playing around with me knowing i'm removing every dead crab whether eaten or just dead (and trust me a LOT die in a tank).

or maybe he's just bored and i'm giving him too much credit?
I had a different thought when I read your title. I put a small shrimp in with my babies and watched carefully, not really trusting the shrimp but trying to find the suitable food. One of the octos came in contact very quickly and I could not tell who was doing what for about 3 minutes (high tension since only a handful of babies even hatched). Fortunately, the baby dispatched the shrimp. I was, needless to say relieved BUT did not find a proper food. The baby then released it and ignored the carcass. My thought was that defense, not offence was the instinct I was observing. Additionally, my brooding female checks to be sure anything I try to feed her (I put it right on top of her) is dead but does not necessarily eat what she inspects.

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