Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Amphioctopus Marginatus: The Octopus That Pretends to Be a Coconut

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Cephalopoda
Order: Octopoda
Family: Octopodidae
Genus: Amphioctopus
Species: Amphioctopus  marginatus
Conservation Status: Not yet assessed
Common Name: Coconut octopus, Veined octopus

Meet Amphioctopus marginatus a medium-sized octopus found in the tropical waters of the western Pacific Ocean The species is best known as the "coconut octopus" due to its unusual affinity with...you guessed right...coconuts! Don't believe me? Check out for yourself:

Autobots, transform and roll out!

The species is also known as the veined octopus, due to the dark lines that run from head to tentacle.

Distribution & Habitat
Amphioctopus marginatus lives in the tropical western Pacific and coastal waters of the Indian Ocean on sandy bottoms in bays or lagoons at a depth range of 0 - 44 m. It frequently buries itself in the sand with only its eyes uncovered.

The main body of the coconut octupus is on average about 8 cm (3 in) long and including the arms, approximately 15 cm (6 in) long. The octopus displays a typical color pattern with dark ramified lines similar to veins, usually with a yellow siphon. The arms are usually dark in color, with contrasting white suckers. In many color displays, a lighter trapezoidal area can be seen immediately below the eye.

A coconut octopus finds shelter in a glass 

Their diet mainly consists shrimps, crabs, and clams.

Behavior and habitat
Young individuals (4-5 cm diameter) use coconut and clam shells as a shelter. In 2005, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, discovered that the species uses bipedal locomotion. It is one of only two octopus species known to display such behavior, with the other one being Abdopus aculeatus.

This behavior was observed in an area off Sulawesi, Indonesia, where the sandy bottom was littered with coconut shells. The bipedal motion appears to mimic a floating coconut. Furthermore, researchers from the Melbourne Museum in Australia have also discovered that the species uses tools for concealment and defense by gathering available debris to create a defensive fortress. This behavior was observed in individuals in Bali and North Sulawesi in Indonesia. The researchers filmed the octopus collecting coconut half-shells discarded by humans from the sea floor. They were then carried up to 20 meters (66 ft) and arranged around the body of the octopus to form a spherical hiding place similar to a clam-shell.

Coconut octops carrying its' house around :)

- http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2005/03/24_octopus.shtml
- Finn JK, Tregenza T, Norman MD (2009). Defensive tool use in a coconut-carrying octopus. Curr. Biol, 19 (23) : 10.1016/j.cub.2009.10.052

Small coconut octopus using a nut shell and clam shell for shelter

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