Saturday, January 17, 2009

You don't need a backbone to behave badly

Octopus juggles roommates, redecorates, turns off the lights.

THE TELEGRAPH (UK): A octopus has caused havoc in his aquarium by performing juggling tricks using his fellow occupants, smashing rocks against the glass and turning off the power by shortcircuiting a lamp...

The short-circuit had baffled electricians as well as staff at the Sea Star Aquarium in Coburg, Germany, who decided to take shifts sleeping on the floor to find out what caused the mysterious blackouts.

A spokesman said: "It was a serious matter because it shorted the electricity supply to the whole aquarium that threatened the lives of the other animals when water pumps ceased to work.

"It was on the third night that we found out that the octopus Otto was responsible for the chaos... At two feet, seven inches Otto had discovered he was big enough to swing onto the edge of his tank and shoot out the 2000 Watt spot light above him with a carefully directed jet of water."

Director Elfriede Kummer said: "Once we saw him juggling the hermit crabs in his tank, another time he threw stones against the glass damaging it. And from time to time he completely re-arranges his tank to make it suit his own taste better - much to the distress of his fellow tank inhabitants."

Speaking as someone who's known one octopus personally, this story is no surprise. They're nothing but trouble - like keeping a monkey with eight arms, and you have to keep all that filtration equipment working for them, to boot. I think they're best with rice and wasabi.

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