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Questions from the Audience
Are any of the species of octopus that you’ve studied more dexterous than others, or do they all have roughly the same flexibility?
We are currently analyzing field video of Octopus vulgaris, which is common in Europe and in the Caribbean Sea. First results look similar to Octopus bimaculoides, which was in our video and is native to California. We have field video of other octopus species but until a thorough analysis of video is done we cannot answer this question. However, we are familiar with some species that have short stubby arms and they are probably not as capable and dextrous as other species.You said octopus suckers can act as taste buds. Have you seen them give up release less “flavorful” food in favor of something more “tasty”?
Yes we have seen them reject different foods, and this is part of our ongoing experiments. We are just beginning those experiments so we cannot yet tell you which foods of tastes are more attractive to the octopus.
What sort of predators to octopuses have in the wild and how do they stay safe from them?
Lots of fishes prey on octopuses. Eels will bit off an arm or two when octopuses are reaching in crevices where eels live. Typical fish predators like groupers, snappers, barracuda and the like all have been found with octopus remains in their stomachs. Sharks and porpoises and seals all eat octopuses on occasion, as do some diving birds.
Do all cephalopods have this sort of flexibility in their arms or is it just octopuses?
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