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[Octopus]: Wayne - Macropus Complex First Ever Octopus

tonmo

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Welcome @Niall! I've posted this thread on our TONMO Facebook page. Let us know if you'd like us to re-title the thread, and perhaps move it to the Journals forum... or you could start another one there. All good :smile: :thumbsup:
 

DWhatley

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Yes, they are oxygen intensive animals. Their blood is copper based (hemocyanin vs our Iron based hemoglobin). The two openings under the eyes are the gill openings. Behind them are two hearts that pump oxygen from the gills to the main heart (yes, they have 3 hearts).

They have complex eyes and are thought to see very well. Personal experience suggests some species see more clearly than others. O. briareus seems to be quite far sighted. Ours fail see things too close but will detect out of tank movement 10' away. The O. hummelincki I have kept seem to have much better overall vision. Since the Macropus complex is almost entirely nocturnal, their vision will be better at night than with bright lights. The red light seems to be an ideal coloration to limit light effects and still allow us to view them. Most aquarist feel that kept octopuses can identify people by sight. They also have decent (but not as sharp as say a starfish) chemical receptors on their arms so touch or "smell" may also provide identification (unknown).

They are quite biologically different from most other creatures. Of note, their central brain is donut shaped with the digestive track running through the middle. I use the term central brain since most of their neurons are actually in the arms. We don't quite know how much autonomy is available to the arms. Severed arms will hunt and move for a short time but there is also evidence that the central brain can control them individually. The large sack (mantle) often mistaken for the head is the body. The head is actually located directly below the eyes. The mouth, between the arms (arms being the preferred term for the eight extensions with suckers).Our Physiology and Biology forum is a good place to start reading about body parts and functions. Start with some of the stickies for topics.

For a one page read on their biology, Wikipedia has a decent introductory article.
 
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Niall

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Thanks again for the reply DWhatley! :smile:

After following your links, I've being doing a lot of reading. One of my store's fish suppliers said they had "Cephalopods A World Guide" by Mark Norman in stock, and I got really excited and ordered it as quickly as I could... until they called back and said they have none left and can't get a hold of anymore. :frown:

I've found keeping an octopus incredibly exciting and informative. I am studying an advanced diploma at the moment but unfortunately there isn't a section on Cephalopods!

Wayne and I have continued to bond. He seems to realise that his food comes from me, and gets awfully excited if I'm near his tank, which is really cool. He usually wakes up at about 11pm, and I'm not sure what time he goes back to his den. His colours and shape change when I ignore him; for example if I walk into my room to grab my keys, and don't stop and look at him, he will sit in the corner in a tight ball, all dark and moody!

This evening he spent his first day in the under gravel pvc tunnels I made him (as far as I'm aware; he may have already explored them whilst I've been asleep). I seen him trying to push his head through, and he got some round deep yellow circles on his body, almost as if he was frustrated with himself trying to fit through. The pipes are an inch wide, and there is plenty of space for him, though.

He's sitting with his legs in the tunnel, and head sticking out. His eyes are squinted, which I'm interpreting as a "sleepy" mode, because I never use lights apart from a 3w red LED I bought. If I put my hand up and wiggle my fingers like an octopus, he will tilt his head to get a proper look to see what I'm doing, then return back to his lounging, as if saying "please, I'm far more intelligent than that!"

I've been feeding him about three cockles a week, which he finishes in about 10 minutes. He usually runs up to the top corner of the tank, takes the food with two legs, and holds onto my hand with the other six, to see if I have anything else for him. A local fisherman told me he will get me some live small crabs for free, which I already have a holding tank set up for, but he hasn't got them yet. I would like to give Wayne some live or fresh food, just to vary his diet and provide a bit more stimulation.

I will endeavour to get some more photos and videos to share, but with the red led it is quite difficult to show him off. I may try putting a dim white one on slowly for a few minutes.

There is something exciting and captivating about being a part of this. It is not like looking after any other animal. Every day is a learning day for both Wayne and myself! Thanks to everyone who has helped me so far on our journey! :smile:
 

tonmo

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After following your links, I've being doing a lot of reading. One of my store's fish suppliers said they had "Cephalopods A World Guide" by Mark Norman in stock, and I got really excited and ordered it as quickly as I could... until they called back and said they have none left and can't get a hold of anymore. :frown:

norman.jpeg

Is that what you're looking for? :smile: When @monty passed away, his library was sent to me. I'll be happy to lend you the book - you pay shipping, and ship it back in a month or two. Deal? PM me your address and we'll make it happen!
 

DWhatley

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Wow @tonmo, this book is almost impossible to find so it is great that there is a loaner. I was really lucky to pick up mine way back when Amazon would let you continually search for used books (no longer a feature). We have located several others for members over the years but absolutely none lately (except a ridiculously priced copy on Amazon). I wish Mark Norman would do an update.

@Niall I am moving your thread to the journals (I can move it back if you would prefer) and adding Wayne's name and suspected complex to the title. This is usually helpful when looking for journals in the distant future :biggrin2:
 
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Niall

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Thanks for the offer @tonmo but I wouldn't trust international shipping! I will keep searching for a copy, or alternative book. :smile:

@DWhatley , thanks for shifting the thread; its probably something I should've done, whoops! :smile:
 

Niall

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Does anyone know if Wayne's species is dangerous? He's just bit me (he got a bit too curious) and it feels a bit numb and tingly. I was letting him explore and felt this sharp needle/beak dig into my skin (he was holding his food with his other arms), and tried to pull my hand away (boy, are they strong!). He seems ashamed now, as he's sitting under a rock all black and gloomy.
 
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Let us know if it gets worse... sometimes it is the individual reaction to the bite (like if you are allergic to something). Sometimes the reaction can get worse overnight. You might want to try taking some Benadryl to reduce the histamine reaction.
 

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