Weird GPO Behavior

Severine

Cuttlefish
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Oct 26, 2015
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Hello Tonmoers!

I am reaching out for a colleague about a weird behavior they have noticed with their GPO. This animal has been seen on the bottom of an exhibit, upside down with arms in the air, writhing along the bottom. I have never seen this behavior as well, so what better place to ask than here! It's happened about 3 times over the last week or so. My colleague is trying to determine if this is just an octopus being weird, just has an itch or if this could be an indicator that something is wrong. Water quality seems to be fine.

Thanks guys for your advice/input. I know it can be really easy to freak out over things like this so I appreciate any help you can provide. Rather be safe and ask then sorry.

Best!
 

tonmo

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Thanks for posting this, Severine - it's been a while! Not sure about the upside-down part but maybe it was sucker cleaning? From our video archive (believe that's O. vulgaris):


Tweeted this out for maximum viewage...
 

Severine

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Thanks for the reply. It's not sucker cleaning, I wish it was though! It kinda looks like it is pushing itself along the bottom of the exhibit, arms are kind of everywhere. Very strange. It's almost like he can't right himself, but then does. If I can get permission to post the video I got, I will.
 

Severine

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I'm going to post it anyway. I'm just really curious as to what is going on.
 

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Severine

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It does look similar, though I can't tell how the eyes look in the video I have. As far as I am aware, he is behaving normally other than this action. This is probably a really dumb question, but what signs and behaviors did you experience for an eye infection?
 

KD5054

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How old is this GPO?
I know my smaller octopus did something like this as it came closer to her end. Sad to say.
 

Severine

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If I had to guess, 2.5-3 years. I do wonder if somehow the statocyst was damaged either during capture and/or transport. It doesn't seem to be a constant behavior, it's pretty irregular. Concerning all the same.
 

Severine

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To give an update: it seems to be increasing in frequency. It’s happened at least once a day over the last 4 days. I’m at a loss. I still think it may be damage to the statocyst, so I am going reach out to a physiologist I know as well. Thank you to everyone who has reached out.
 

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KD5054

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To give an update: it seems to be increasing in frequency. It’s happened at least once a day over the last 4 days. I’m at a loss. I still think it may be damage to the statocyst, so I am going reach out to a physiologist I know as well. Thank you to everyone who has reached out.

Pretty certain this is end of life behavior. Mine did this as she neared the end of her time. Also talking to another octopus owner over here she mentioned that this is a sign of age.
Hopefully I'm wrong as it's always sad but this has been my experience.
 

perke

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I have seen something similar in a GPO before where it was barrel rolling on the ground, our speculation was that it was damage to the optic lobe or lesion on the brain. John Messenger did some great work on brain lesions in octopus (common octopus) and how they effect their behaviour and it seemed similar to what we were seeing. It could be there is an infection that is progressing, whether it is because of senesence is another question. Is the octopus still taking food? If so you could try a Baytril in food treatment for the animal.
 
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Please update us on this - I would like to know what caused this behaviour. Whatever it is, I was first inclined to say it's a statocyst problem as it affects their orientation and this octopus seems to be trying to "right" itself. The octopus' old age is more than likely playing a part in this abnormal behaviour too.
 
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