Jan 12, 2008

Something in Common

Ever thought an octopus was cute? If not, be prepared.

Louis the octopus (living in Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay, Cornwall), was given a Mr. Potato Head for Christmas. Now, whenever the staff tries to remove the toy from his tank, Louis gets aggressive and protects it. Louis was even able to open up the back side and find the food inside. They're smart critters, folks. I imagine the staff members will let the situation be.

What endears this story so much to me is that that isn't just any Mr. Potato Head. That's Opti-Mash Prime. My son got one for Christmas, too. I never thought my fifteen-pound boy would have anything in common with a six-foot mollusk, but there you have it.

Thanks for the article, Ida.

Photo source: Metro.co.uk

24 comments:

Wendy said...

Octopi are amazing, it's true... wonderful escape artists, and rather ferociously graceful. But why did this one A) receive a Christmas gift, and B) why Mr. Potato Head??? That's just strange...

Jade said...

So cute! It's amazing a creature that only lives one year has such an intelligence!

Jason said...

Three to five years.

Annica said...

LOL!

Jade said...

Jason- Where have you heard that? Everything I've read about them always says just a bit over one year.

Meg Lyman said...

Giant Pacific Octopus generally live 3-5 years. The smaller species live shorter lives.

Jason said...

Jade:

http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/Invertebrates/Facts/cephalopods/FactSheets/Pacificoctopus.cfm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Pacific_Giant_Octopus#Life_span_and_reproduction
http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/sgpubs/onlinepubs/g07002.html
http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/giant-pacific-octopus.html

Those are just the first four results from googling "giant pacific octopus life span".

amandacheryl said...

i also googled and got 3-5 years...I love things with tentacles. If I had one..I'd give it a present too.

Jade said...

I stand corrected. Thanks for the info :)

(this is why I should stick to bugs, spiders, and frogs!)

CaseyL said...

Giving octopuses* food inside something - a jar, a Mr Potato head - is something we do, too, at Seattle Aquarium. It's part of the mental stimulation regimen.

I have no difficulty at all thinking they're adorable :)

*BTW: Octopuses, not octopi, because octopus is Greek, not Latin.

Jason said...

OMG Casey! I sent an email to the Seattle Aquarium on Friday offering to donate Mr. Potato Heads for the octopuses there!

jynxkat said...

does anyone know if there are any aquariums on the west coast where i can see cuttlefish? they're my favorite sea animal and i've never seen them in real life- i once traveled 4 hours to a place that had them only to find the exhibit had been moved so the aquarium would be more california oriented :(

Jason said...

I saw a cuttlefish @ the Vancouver Aquarium, but that's a pretty long drive from California.

bats :[ said...

jynxkat: The Birch Aquarium at Scripps in La Jolla, has cuttlefish:
http://aquarium.ucsd.edu/

I don't recall seeing cuttlefish there (we were there in 2004), but it's a very nice aquarium. There's a great attraction with seahorses and seadragons.

k said...

My understanding is that cuttlefish are even more difficult to keep alive than octopuses ... Apparently they're very cute and lovable and bond to their keepers (seriously!), but then as soon as the bond develops, the poor thing dies ... :( These mollusks just don't live long for some reason.

Jason said...

Hopefully science can find a way around that. While many people's visions of the future include flying cars and brain transplants, mine only includes coming home to a cuttlefish begging me for attention and love.

Wendy said...

caseyl: Thanks for the correction and the information. It's good to hear that folks like you take mental stimulation for the animals in your care seriously. Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago is a stellar example of what NOT to do: lots of neurotic and repetitious behavior - breaks my heart. :(

bats :[ said...

I think the short longevity of these critters is Nature's way of ensuring us hairless apes of our survival. If octopuses and their ilk lasted 70 years or so, they'd be putting us in tanks and giving us Mr. Potato Heads with Cheet-ohs and M&M's in the secret compartment in the back. :)

Kyr said...

caseyl~

Yes, octopus is a Greek word, not Latin, but according to the Greek/Latin Prof. at my college, the plural form should technically be Octopoides. ^_~

Shay said...

oh, that is so cute. "No, daddy, it's mine! mine!"

Kritter said...

I love this picture. It would be better only if the octopus had a death-grip on a Ronald McDonald doll.

bats :[ said...

I guess it's just me, but I'd rather see Louie with a Darth Tater Potato Head, emulating the great Mon Calamari Rebel leader Admiral Ackbar by screaming "It's a trap!".

Yeah, it is just me...

Raging Wombat said...

I love it bats!

lisalisa said...

The dictionary says octopuses or octopi are both correct plural of octopus. Just thought I'd throw that in there. This picture made me laugh. He's hugging his Mr. Potatohead and won't let it go!!!