Octopus opening jar tricks

Joined
May 7, 2004
Messages
9
I've been feeding my GPO (presently about 2 ft. TL) live shrimp and crabs and finally decided to try the old jar trick. I put a coonstripe shrimp in a 7 liter plastic observation container that I'd gotten earlier from Acorn Naturalists that has a snap on lid, which takes a bit of effort to pop open. I'd just fed the octopus another coonstripe about twenty minutes earlier, so I wasn't sure that it would even be interested. The container lid had trapped a bit of air in the container so it floated around in the tank for 5-10. The octopus eyed it a few times and touched the container rather tentatively without seeming interest. Then all of a sudden, wham, it grabbed the container, straddled it, evidently popped open the lid by sucking on with its suckers, and then checked out the shrimp with one of its arms. After that the action was hidden from view by the octopus's webbing. I had other duties to attend to but when I retrieved the container an hour later, no shrimp and the lid had been wrenched out of its hinges, so the suction must have been pretty strong. The largest suckers on the animal are about 1/2 inch in diameter and it grips very well when I clean the tank and it "wrestles" me.

That was the first time I had put any food in any container, but it didn't require any learning time at all - just wham, bam, thank you ma'am. Pretty amazing.
 
Joined
May 7, 2004
Messages
9
This comment apparently got some attention and Nancy invited me to share more, so I've started a new thread on Henry the Alaskan octopus in the journals and photos sub-forum. Not being real computer literate when it comes to photos, videos, etc. it might be awhile before I can get any posted, but I'll try. The tank is a 70 gallon, measuring 56" x 18" x 16" (I just re-checked my measurements and found that I erred in the first description as 90 gallons). It's connected to our visitor center's aquarium recirculation system, that includes about 20% makeup of raw filtered seawater. I would love to have a larger tank, but that's the largest one I have, except for the 5,000 gallon tank. If I put it there, it would eat up all my crabs and in turn get eaten by one of the larger fish, probably the lingcod. So I'll have to slow down on the fresh crabs and shrimp in its diet, I think.
 

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