The Once-ler

sedna

Larger Pacific Striped Octopus
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It's been a week now and things are still looking good, so I'm starting a journal for the Once-ler. I'm not sure if it is male or female, but I'm sure it'd look smashing in a thneed and if it wasn't already real Dr. Suess would have imagined it...
I finally decided to measure some fixed things in the tank and am completely embarrassed at how off I was on my estimates:oops: The long piece of live rock (encrusted intake valve- I tell kids it's a pirate hook) that Once-ler is stretched over is 6 in. long. The intake cover in the back of that picture is 3 in. This is a 55 gal bow front tank, 18 in. tall. Based on that, I think the mantle is only 2 in. or so, but the arms are 10- 12 in. for sure. Every animal I have ever put in this tank seems to grow instantly, and taking a good picture is tough if you're at a bad angle to the bowed glass. Yes, this is my lame excuse from here on out for bad photos...
The Once-ler has a lurkim, a large piece of live rock that it can hang out in and look out with just eyes to see the whole room. Slowly we see more and more of it as it gets used to it's new home. It's diurnal but still sleeps during the day a lot. The most active times are morning and late afternoon- evening. Finally starting to warm up to the camera! The Once-ler is a hunter, all the hermit crabs are gone and the snails are slowly disappearing, but I've also been sucessful with stick feeding shrimp. Will post more photos soon!
 


sedna

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pictures of The Once-ler

My pictures did not upload with my last post... On the one, it is stretched out over a piece of 6 in. long "live rock." The one shot is a bit blurry but gives a nice "head on" example of any spots, the other is clearer and shows some range of coloration.
 

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sedna

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more pictures of the Once-ler

Here are a few more pictures, one of the lighter color phase, one I just moved over from the I.D. page, and one of it pasted to the glass eating a snail. Already thinning out the truffela supply...
 

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DWhatley

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Please tell me I am imagining spots

Or that I am just :old: and seeing them. I am very glad his initial size estimates come from the typical female misjudgement of 6" :sly: but the markings still bother me.
 

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DWhatley

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One other find

I like the possibility of this one because of the second pictures (search defilippi) that shows spots rather than stripes on the same octo but none of the pictures shows the starburst on the eye.
 

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sedna

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The Once-ler is a septopus!

Well, over the last few days we've been seeing a lot more of the Once-ler. It has been coming out more often, and staying out longer. For a while it would retreat as soon as we'd come up to the tank and watch us from it's lurkim, with all the arms tucked in and just eyes peering out. Now that it's been out more I've only just noticed that it only has 7 arms...
From the time I got it home I noticed the tip of the first right arm is missing. Today I noticed a tiny growth, a skinny string of skin from under the webbing. I felt bad to not notice until now, but it's only just staying on the glass for a while when I sit close enough to observe it's whole body. Of corse at first I worried that it'd eaten the whole arm over night. I'm so glad for have taken pictures right from the start, and not deleting the "bad" ones. I can tell from the pictures that it's only had 7 arms all along. As for eating it and the tip of the other, I'm not sure. It's hard to tell sometimes what's going on under the webbing, but I've made sure the short arm isn't getting shorter, and that all of the other arms taper off properly. There is the same type of stringy growth on the tip of the short arm, they are the same length. I hope I can surmise from this that both appendages were lost at the same time and are growing back at equal rates.
You can see on these shots that there is a short row of suckers that ends abruptly. D, you can see how far the webbing extends on the legs, you asked about that once.
Other than that I'm glad to report that everything seems to be going well. The Once-ler is warming up to it's new home and becoming accustomed to our routine while establishing one of it's own. All of the snails are gone, it still likes hermit crabs, and is stick feeding on shrimp well. It doesn't play "follow the hand" on the glass, or really play like Al did. But at least it will come out and dance on the glass and inspect us, too!
 

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DWhatley

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Sedna,
The thread is, indeed, new growth so if he did chew it off, it was not during life in your tank and he is not eating them now. I was concerned that Octane had some kind of rotting material still attached to the end of his truncated arm (on arrival). It took about two weeks to see that the string had tiny suckers :smile:. I don't know when he lost the tip so I don't know how long it took for that string to develop. After 7 months I could not determine which arm had grown back.

I am still not convinced Once-ler is of the Adopus group but maybe we will hear from Mucktopus soon (If she is not out in the frozen underworld collecting plankton or diving in Indonesia) with a yea or nay.
 

sedna

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First contact!

Monday was my birthday and the Once-ler gifted me with a gentle touch. Of course, it turned into the "grab and pull toward my mouth" touch, so I gently pulled away. She sat for an hour on the glass, as if contemplating what happened. Yesterday before I began to clean the tank she was dancing on the glass near the top and didn't hesitate to investigate when I opened it. Immediately an arm popped out and over the side of the tank. I offered a finger and after guiding her arm back into the water, she hid in the corner during the cleaning and gave me no problems. It's been 2 weeks now, and I'm can't believe how much more friendly and interactive she's become, but I also get the feeling that I'd better keep my eye on this one...
I've decided to go with "she," because I hate "it" and my daughter informs me she has a very strong feeling about it. Since it's the 3rd arm that was lost, we have no hints that way, and the suckers don't seem to be enlarged at all. As for the arm, it seems is regenerating faster than I thought it would. Yes, only a few mm/ day, but enough to notice!
Here are some new pictures. The one is of the Once-ler's most common pose, head out of her den, arms all tucked in. It has occurred to me that maybe she isn't more shy than Al, but that the placement of her den in the tank, and tank in the room is more centrally located. She has a view of most of the room from her den. Al had to be on the glass to see what was going on, but The Once-ler has 1st row seating in this tank.
The next pic shows an attempt at animal enrichment, just not the intended animal. I put a piece of shrimp into a plastic hamster ball and fixed it in the tank. The Once-ler did spend 40 min or so cruising the tank and investigating from afar, then went to sleep and never gave it another thought. The shrimp was never eaten. My brother cat, Linus, totally freaked out, though. He sat there, fur all raised, and meowlped for his sister. Her response was even more underwhemed than the octo. Linus cried all evening until the light went out. It still served as great entertainment for us!
 

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