Complex burrows of sand and shells are home for at least 15 cephalopod species Octopus tetricus, once considered solitary creatures.
Researchers said that these behaviors are the products of natural selection and may be similar to the complex social behaviors exhibited by vertebrates.
Marine biologists call it an “aggressive place to live” following a notion that even after an abundance of food at Octlantis and Octopolis, Octopus have shown their interests in predators. This means that given the right conditions, evolution may lead to similar outcomes in different groups of organisms.
A gloomy octopus at home in Octlantis.
Octopuses are known to be solitary creatures but a newly discovered octopus city off the coast of Australia suggests that these marine animals are not as isolated and solitary as humans think they are. Some of the dens even seemed to be made from such material.
However, in “Oclantis” there is no human object or point of reference to explain the colony.
Octopolis was probably formed as a fighting arena when octopuses found a piece of metal on the bottom of the sea, and started fighting for it.
“At both sites there were features that we think may have made the congregation possible – namely several seafloor rock outcroppings dotting an otherwise flat and featureless area”, study co-author Stephanie Chancellor, a Ph.D. student in biological sciences at the University of IL at Chicago, said in a statement.
But University of Illinois-Chicago researcher Stephanie Chancellor said it’s possible octopuses were inhabiting the area after a build up of shells from the creatures they had been eating.
“Oclantis” is made out of piles of sand and shells and it is about 10-15 metres under water, and measures 18×4 metres.
An octopus evicts another octopus from its den. However, this new discovery proves the old theories wrong.
Current study findings are detailed in a paper in the journal Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology. There were some apparent threat displays where an animal would stretch itself out lengthwise in an “upright” posture and its mantle would darken.
Given the previous theories on octopuses, such a behavior might seem peculiar.
As it is, specialists consider that more research will be needed to accurately determine what these octopi’s cities and their actions in them actually denote.