Octopus Fight Club

SCIENCE ALERT shared extraordinary videos of an octopus using a weapon in a fight with another octopus.

Just because you’re an octopus and you’ve got eight perfectly good arms for brawling with doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also make use of any potential weapons you happen to find lying around on the seabed.

This is what scientists have found, filming aggressive stoushes between the animals at a kind of Octopus Fight Club in Jervis Bay along the southeast coast of Australia. The site, which the researchers have dubbed Octopolis, features an unusually large amount of Octopus tetricus, commonly known as either the Sydney octopus or Gloomy octopus. (Poor thing, no wonder it’s getting into fights.)

Image: Peter Godfrey-Smith, David Scheel, Stefan Linquist, and Matthew Lawrence

“A particular group of them have started living in higher concentrations than usual, which we think is because of some peculiarities of the site where they live,” said Peter Godfrey-Smith, a professor of philosophy at the City University of New York and professor of history and philosophy of science at Sydney University in Australia, in an interview with Arun Rath from NPR. “And essentially, they’ve had to, we think, learn to get on a little bit. They’ve had to learn to interact more than octopuses normally have to do.”

Read the rest of the fascinating article and see the videos at SCIENCE ALERT.