Female octopuses thwart male harassment by throwing debris : Study


In a bid to resist male harassment and unwanted mating attempts, female octopuses were observed throwing debris, finds an interesting study led by a team from Australia, Canada and the US.
The study, published on the pre-print server bioRxiv and yet to be peer-reviewed, captured female octopuses on camera using their tentacles to gather debris, including shells, silt and algae, and launch it toward other octopuses with a jet of water, the CTV news reported.
“Some throws appear to be targeted on other individuals and play a social role, as suggested by several kinds of evidence,” said the researchers including Peter Godfrey-Smith, of the School of History and Philosophy of Science, at the University of Sydney.
“Some throws were directed differently from beneath the arms and such throws were significantly more likely to hit other octopuses,” they added.
This peculiar behaviour in octopuses has been observed by the team from off the eastern coast of Australia since 2015. While it is common for octopuses to perform similar throws when building and maintaining dens, the act of throwing is rarely seen by any creature in the wild, much less in a social context.The study categorised 101 throws, of which 36 were deemed to be performed in a social context, while more than half were at least partially social. (IANS)



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