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Nov 24, 2002
Hey all:

After my experience with Tralfaz and the bio-balls, I decided to test the little bugger. So I am whipping up a litle octo-maze out of acrylic. I will put a crayfish in one end and he will have to move over obstacles to get to it. I think that i will also leave space to insert moving panels as well so that he will have to move them to get to the food. Will he be smart enough?? Hmmmm :bonk:

I've built it partway. The internal partitions are not in yet. I think That I'll set it up so that he will have to go over and under the partitions. (See diagram below). The top will be covered so he has to go in the entrance hole.

Let me know what you think. Any suggestions appreciated. :notworth:

would be interesting to see how it works with different individuals too?

is it time for a Tonmo 'who has the smartest octopus challenge?'

Also would like to compare the maze with one the exact same layout but not clear...
Yes colin, I think that I will make the moveable partitions out of Colored acrylic so that he can't see through them. We will have to see. I'm going out of town this weekend so I may not finish it until next week. I'll keep you posted and take some pics of Tralfaz's reaction to it.

Hey guys,

(exit lurk mode)

To make the maze more challenging, you could add a section where the octo has to move away from the food source. Most sorta smart critters have a hard time with that, as it is not logical in the immediate sense.

(return to lurk)

Excellent Idea Shannen:

Unfortunately, I am limited by the size that I can make this thing. I haveto be able to put it in the tank among all the live rock etc. It is approx 10" long by 5 " wide by 8" high. This doesn't leave me much room to make a complicated maze layout. If Tralfaz can navigate the maze I will add the moveable partitions.

If he finds that to easy, I may make another one with clear acrylic tube going in different dirrections. That way I might be able to incorporate your idea. Thanks for the input! :biggrin2:

So, do you reckon that timing the maze is the best way to gauge how well the octopus is using its brain?

The problem is that unlike a mouse I don't want to actually put Tralfaz in the maze. (He probably would not take kindly to that type of handling) I hope that He will do it himself in order to get the food. However, who knows how long it might take him to actually bother to try and/or figure out how to get in in the first place.

He certainly does things in his own time. Sometimes he will beg for crayfish and attack them immediately and sometimes he will ignore them for a while and grab them later. (Hmmm, maybe HE is training ME :bugout: )

I think that once he figures out how to get into the box he will complete it pretty quickly. :grad: Who knows. The way he moves, once he is inside I think it could take seconds to complete.

Hmmm, maybe the way to "grade" this is to see whether they Octo can get in and complete the maze. Further, whether he/she can learn to adapt to changes in the "maze" like moving partitions etc. In other words testing the ability to adapt previously learned information to a new situation.

That maze is pretty groovy, in the intrest of science, and other life mysteries, try placing the maze in different configurations, perhaps placing it with the entrance at the top, or upside down so the course is the exact oppsite. The results will be interesting to observe. :cyclops:
That's it George, you've officially lost your mind :bonk: ...just kidding. Remember back in the old days when people were impressed by octos unscrewing jars! I guess to one-up you, I will build a solid acrylic hamster ball and fill it with water so that roxy can get in it and cruise around the apartment while I'm at work. :lol:

:lol: Why the apartment. Take Roxy to work with you. I'll bet Octos can type like a million words a minute. :notworth:

Actually, I've put the maze on hold until after I write the article on the DIY Skimmer. Then I'll finish it up and see how Tralfaz does. Of course, he has now become so used to taking crayfish out of my hand (or a net) that he may be too lazy to figure out the maze!!!

I may as well take her to work, I do work at an aquarium anyway. Speaking of that, I've heard rumors that we'll have an octopus exhibit in the near future, wahoo! :biggrin2:
hey law what a neat idea, i was thinking tho. Sam got out of a very small opening in her tank. If you made the inside of the maze more confining,(it wouldnt matter they are able to make it thru small places) :roll: , then you could put more obstcales in the way, might be hard for you to get them in but its just a thought
Hi Deb,

When you say that Sam escaped through a very small opening, just how large do you mean? A half inch square, or one inch square, or very, very small? It would help us all to know this, because we don't have many examples of bimacs going through small openings.


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