08/14/2015

The Strangely Social Life of the Larger Pacific Striped Octopus

7:46 minutes

Most octopus species live their lives largely on their own. New research published in the journal PLOS ONE, however, documents unique social behaviors among several specimens of the larger Pacific striped octopus, including strange mating approaches, the cohabitation in dens by mating pairs, and sharing of food. Richard Ross, a senior biologist at the California Academy of Sciences, describes some of the species’ unusual habits, including a method of hunting shrimp by tapping the prey on the back to surprise it (see video below).

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Richard Ross

Richard Ross is a senior biologist at the Steinhart Aquarium, part of the California Academy of Sciences, in San Francisco, California.

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About Charles Bergquist

As Science Friday’s director, Charles Bergquist channels the chaos of a live production studio into something sounding like a radio program. Favorite topics include planetary sciences, chemistry, materials, and shiny things with blinking lights.

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