Saturday, April 24, 2010

Octopus' Portable Armor

Add the octopus to the growing list of animals seemingly capable of using tools!  During several dives in Indonesia, Australian biologists documented the remarkable efforts of the local veined octopus to procure empty coconut shells for refuge. The animal first digs up the shell, which as fallen to the sea floor, and squirts it clean of mud. It then straddles the shell, empty-side up, stiffens its tentacles, and gallops off across the sea bottom with the shell - as far as 65 feet - like an eight legged horse! "I almost drowned laughing when I saw this the first time," researcher Julian Finn tells BBCnews.com (Health and Science magazine 1/15/10)

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