Octopuses build Cities

Today I learned: Kopffüßer bauen „Städte“ aus Muscheln und Zeugs im Meer. Ob es sich bei den Octopus-Städten „Octlantis“ und „Octopolis“ um die Vororte von R'lyeh handelt, ist bislang nicht bekannt. Tentacles FTW!

“Octlantis,” a newly discovered settlement inhabited by around a dozen common Sydney octopuses, does have some strange residents.

Octopuses were once considered solitary creatures, thought to roam the depths alone, meeting only to mate. But recent discoveries have begun to overturn that assumption, however. Just take the 2009 discovery of a settlement similar to Octlantis, dubbed “Octopolis,” inhabited by the same type of octopus. While this species, dubbed the “Gloomy Octopus,” is still commonly found by its lonesome, in certain situations, it appears that they decide to band together into communities centered around small dens made of shells.

In Jervis Bay, off Eastern Australia, Octopolis was built around a man-made object of uncertain provenance, about which the octopuses gradually constructed small dens from the shell middens leftover from foraging and feasting. Nearby Octlantis provides a crucial confirmation of the behavior, but that “city” didn’t start around an artificial nucleus. The findings were published in the journal Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology.