Octopus

While hiking at Quoin point i came across the same octopus in the same hole i saw two weeks before! I recognised him by his missing arm that had started to grow back, when attacked by predators, octopus can detach an arm to deter the attacker. They also detach their penis during mating which when not in use for reproduction acts as an arm! 

He may have recognised me also because octopus are the most intelligent invertebrate, they are solitary, territorial hunters and the offspring do not have a learning process based on direct transmission. The speed of learning is astonishing, comparable with that of the apes. An octopus can detect a solution to a problem by itself, displaying "conceptual thinking". Besides mammals and birds, octopus are the only animals that play!

So when I picked up my new friend for a closer look, I knew I was safe from his bite, although all Octopus have venom his is not harmful to humans. While looking into his eyes, which are the most sophisticated amongst invertebrates but still unable to see in colour! I could not help wonder at this evolutionary masterpiece, unfortunately they only live for 3-5 years which limits their time for accumulation of information. Some researchers say that if octopus had lived longer, they, and not humans, would have been the dominant intelligence on Earth!

Imagine a creature able not only to change colour but skin texture to resemble its surroundings intelligently stalking its prey, 3 hearts beating blue blood, able to pass through small cracks and holes, with the ability to solve complex problems using two memories one cerebral (brain) and one tactile, connected to their cups or suckers, able to lay clusters of eggs, usually 100-500,000 that are tentatively guarded by the female until she dies of starvation. 

What an amazing creature to behold!

Jason Stonehewer
Beachcomber Guide   

Octopus encounter
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