Australia’s (semi)terrestrial octopus

This new video, from Attenborough’s BBC Earth series, shows an octopus taking to land to hunt animals in tide pools. As usual, it’s a really nice clip, but is lacking one bit of information.

The YouTube notes say this: “This extraordinary species found in Northern Australia is like no other Octopus, and land is no obstacle when hunting for Crabs.”

What is the species?

27 Comments

  1. Randy schenck
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Thant’s enough to put you off the Tako.

  2. Posted July 25, 2017 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Amazing. Fascinating. And a little frightening.

    When they come slithering out of Pugent Sound, I, for one, will welcome our cephalopod overlords. What other choice would we have? Otherwise we’re doomed.

    Doomed, I tell you.

  3. stephajl
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Watching that gorgeous creature slink up out of the waters, the following sprange to my mind: “For Cthulhu so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son…” 😏

    [sub (I’m dying to know the species)]

    • stephajl
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      * sprang
      (sigh — dissertation writing is taking a toll on my faculties)

    • busterggi
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      Oh course he loved the world – it tastes great.

      • stephajl
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        Heh. Exactly!

      • Pierluigi Ballabeni
        Posted July 26, 2017 at 8:10 am | Permalink

        The octopus tastes great too!

  4. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Su

  5. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    With them it is always “Squee!” or “Squid!”.

  6. mrclaw69
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s an Anxious aculeatus. But I’m no expert.

    • mrclaw69
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Damned auto-correct! I meant Abdopus aculeatus!

      Maybe it does get a little upset from time to time though…?

      • Jonathan Wallace
        Posted July 26, 2017 at 5:40 am | Permalink

        🙂

  7. Mark R.
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    That crab didn’t stand a chance. Really nice corals in those tide pools as well.

  8. Mark R.
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    I was googling for a few minutes…there are lots of videos, photos, blogs, scientist’s commentary etc., but not one mention of the specific species. Apparently there are a few species that walk on land.

  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    That’s some dyn-o-mite photography. I’m guessing liberties may have been taken in the editing to enhance verisimilitude?

    • JohnnieCanuck
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      Two things caught my attention. The sounds supposedly made by the animal seem dubbed in and at one point, the suckers adhere to something flat and transparent in front of the camera. Part of the camera or panels to direct the animal’s movement?

      Odds are more than one octopus contributed to the footage and the crab was betrayed by the photographers who put it in harm’s way.

      Fascinating locomotion.

    • rickflick
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      I am compelled to think of shooting and editing issues. A few shots were likely taken in a tank with suitable background rocks and coral. The progress of our main protagonist from start to delectable finish are very likely assembled from clips taken in a different order. The music is added to build dramatic thrust. I hope the children are already in bed.

  10. Posted July 25, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  11. Posted July 25, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    If we continue to poison and heat up the ocean enough to kill off sea life the octopi depend on to survive, what other option do they have but to try the land? Next, they’ll be migrating off planet.

  12. Michael Fisher
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    mrclaw69 [comment 6] is correct. Another YouTube BBC channel shows the same clip, “The amazing Octopus that can walk on dry land – The Hunt: Episode 6 Preview – BBC One” here: /watch?v=TFzpC_e44Tg & reports it as being Abdopus aculeatus [or algae octopus]

    It is one of two octopus species capable of bipedal locomotion [in water!] – the other one being Amphioctopus marginatus [coconut octopus or veined octopus]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amphioctopus_marginatus

    • Pierluigi Ballabeni
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      “It is one of two octopus species capable of bipedal locomotion”

      Octopus erectus?

  13. Posted July 25, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Looks like one tentacle is re-generating.

    • JohnnieCanuck
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      Maybe it was a crab that did it, trying to avoid becoming dinner.

  14. Posted July 26, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    I found it interesting how they employed thriller/horror film language in the cinematography of this clip. Clever, and effective.

    • Colin McLachlan
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Yes, if it had been in B&W, it could be a trailer for a 50s horror B movie. Just tinker with the perspective and add a screaming voluptuous lady in a bikini instead of the crab. Attack of the Killer Octopus

  15. David Coxill
    Posted July 26, 2017 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    If i was standing next to a rock pool and one of them started to climb out i would either wet myself or run away ,or wet myself as i was running away .
    Does Doc Myers over at Pharyngula know about this critter ?.

  16. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted July 29, 2017 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    Obviously a close relative of the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus.

    http://zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/

    cr


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