Watch a Pair of Giant Pacific Octopuses Square Up off the California Coast on Nautilus Live
by Owen James Burke
Screenshot from Nautilus Live’s video (below).
Octopuses are primarily solitary creatures, and don’t tend to make regular or voluntary rendezvouses, apart from when it comes time to mate.
So when they do cross paths or trespass on others’ turf, things can get tense, and clearly, these two Giant Pacific Octopuses (Enteroctopus dofleini) weren’t all too pleased to make one another’s acquaintance.
This isn’t something scientists–or anyone, necessarily–are fortunate enough to witness often, as evidenced by the ooh-ing, awe-ing and wow-ing commentary in Nautilus Live‘s video below.
It would appear that the battle ended without any serious physically injury, though the smaller specimen, who didn’t seem to put up much of a fight, may be off on stage left nursing a bruised ego. (That, or counting its lucky stars, possibly in thanks to E/V Nautilus’ HROV Hercules, which may have spooked the dueling cephalopods and brought and end to the battle.)
Meanwhile, in Jervis Bay, Australia, gloomy octopuses are hurling rocks, shells, seaweed, and basically anything they can get their hands on to deter one another as their population seems to be exploding.
Read a Scuttlefish interview with Nautilus Live’s Dr. Katy Croff Bell, and keep updated on their findings (or watch their live stream in real time) here. –OJB