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August 07, 2005

Nature red in beak and tentacle

Via PZ Myers, amazing octopus vs. shark footage.

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Okay, so -- the Seattle aquarium had a couple of Giant Pacific Octopi, and for logistical reasons they had to temporarily put one of them in a tank holding several sharks. They figured the octopus would be okay because... [Read More]

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Okay, so -- the Seattle aquarium had a couple of Giant Pacific Octopi, and for logistical reasons they had to temporarily put one of them in a tank holding several sharks. They figured the octopus would be okay because... [Read More]

Comments

That's really odd ... I can't help but think (and maybe this is anthropomorphizing an octopus too much) but what the hell was the octopus thinking?

It wasn't hoping to eat the shark ... protecting territory?

I for one welcome our new octopod overlords.

The footage indicates quite clearly that the shark was in the process of being eaten.

We need to convince Karl Rove to take a swim in that aquarium.

Swopa, you figure a giant octopus could take a manatee?

The voice over didn't mention that they were finding gnawed-on shark bodies, just shark bodies. What do Giant Pacific Octopuses usually eat?

The voice-over also mentioned 3-4 foot sharks "disappearing," which I admit is ambiguous.

Swopa, you figure a giant octopus could take a manatee?

It'd be worth it to find out. Maybe we could hire "Cindy" to do an artist's depiction.

It didn't say they disappeared, it said they found them dead. Besides, I don't think octopi eat their prey so much as drink them.

Many predators kill other predators to reduce competition. Also, the sharks could be perceived as a threat. The octopus attacked from protection and concealment. If the shark caught the octopus in the open, it might have been bad for the octopus. The octopus was obviously just using the Bush doctrine of preventive killing.

It didn't say they disappeared, it said they found them dead.

Sigh.

Listen to the voiceover again. It says they "vanished."

While you're listening, watch the end of the clip, in which an apparently very dead shark, almost entirely concealed by the octopus' body, is being dragged off. Now it's probably wrong to conclude from that that the shark's being eaten, but I'm having trouble figuring out why else the octopus wouldn't just let the shark go once it was dead.

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