Behold the Cunning Tactic of the Wily, Larger Pacific Striped Octopus
by Owen James Burke
Screenshot from UC Berkeley’s YouTube video (below).
Most octopuses pounce on their prey, one fell swoop, like raptors. The larger Pacific striped octopus takes a slier, more cunning approach.
To hunt this shrimp, this octopus (referred to as the “LPSO” by the California Academy of Sciences–science has yet to give this peculiar creature a name) dangles its tentacle before an unwitting shrimp in the way an anglerfish tempts prey with its lure, which functions like a baited hook. Once the little unwitting crustacean is intrigued, it’s game over; the cephalopod pounces, and the shrimp, distracted, is hopeless.
The LPSO, which dwells in the pacific waters off Central America, is also unique in that it happens to be one of the few octopus species in the world that is not cannibalistic. It is, perhaps, for this reason that they are able to exhibit somewhat more intimate reproductive behaviors, mating with their ventral sides and beaks touching (among other octopus species, the female usually devours–or attempts to devour–the male after he’s served his purpose.)
Read more about the LPSO at UC Berkeley’s website. –OJB