swiping left.

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The octopus is one of nature’s smartest and most enigmatic creatures, seemingly able to engage in some of the more complex thought processes in nature while also taking advantage of its unique physical abilities. Recently, some angry cephalopods were discovered to be assaulting fish by striking them with an arm.

Their taste for violence doesn’t end there. A new study demonstrates that when an octopus wants to be left alone, it’s not above tossing the nearest object at the noggin of its target.

Researchers at the University of Sydney published their findings in the science journal bioRxiv, and it’s clear that octopuses have a low tolerance for unwelcome visitors. Observing them off the eastern coast of Australia, scientists witnessed octopuses hurling shells, algae, and other debris at other octopuses in an effort to warn them off.

Octopuses don’t “throw” objects the way a human might. Instead, they use their arms to position the object in front of their siphons, which can produce a jet stream of water that propels the material into their adversary.

This behavior has been observed before, but this new study shed some fresh light on their motivations. The footage obtained via GoPro cameras captured a number of female octopuses throwing shells at would-be male suitors, a kind of swiping left, using blunt force.

In these cases, the males were not always discouraged. One bachelor was hit 10 times but stuck around. Others attempted to dodge the projectiles. Octopuses can toss objects for other reasons. They may, for example, want to clean up their living space by removing clutter. In some cases, that unwanted clutter may also mean a pushy mate.

“you want trouble, you can get trouble” 

s. rotslach

 

 

credits:

Photo- S. Rotslach/Getty Images, Mental Floss/J. Rossen, Science Alert/ M. Starr, University of Sydney/bioRxiv

66 responses »

  1. I was eternally amused by John Oliver’s emission some time ago and then thought: Those clever bastards…..!!!! Now all is confirmed, underlined, set in stone – they rule!
    Such clever creatures, just sad that they don’t look better. Or they could be adored 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So, that is interesting. That’s amazing how those creatures act just intuitively and instinctively. Also, it is smart the way they are “throwing” objects because it needs only a little effort for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Octopi are amazing with their clever minds, elastic bodies, and camouflage. As an introvert, I am envious of their ability to disappear into their surroundings and slip out of situations they would prefer not to be in.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: swiping left. – Nelsapy

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