A group of Biologists recently conducted a thorough research on Sydney Octopuses. The team of researchers observed interactions and physiological changes of octopuses on Australian east coast. Researchers recorded some complex social behavior of octopuses. These recent observations are singular and thus fueling debates. According to the team, these Octopuses exhibited few physiological changes based on aggression, mating and grappling. Octopuses also displayed a pale color after losing a battle.
Earlier studies portrayed octopuses as solitary creatures. It was assumed that octopuses only change body color and other behavior in order to avoid conflict with predators. This recent study by Prof Godfrey-Smith unraveled a brand new perception on octopuses.
Prof Godfrey-Smith explained that these unusual stances are not merely physiological response from octopuses. He elaborated deeply “Clearly the unusual stance is not a physiological response. It makes it look as big as it can possibly be, with its arms spread out below and the mantle, the back part of the animal, raised over the head”. Prof Godfrey also stated that the dark color is related to the size increasing behavior of octopuses. These Octopuses turned pale while withdrawing from predators. This high-contrast pattern is known as deimatic displays.
According to the study team, Octopuses displayed these contrasting patterns when they were venturing to return to their cave after being enforced to go out. Octopuses also exhibited this sort of behavior in presence of an attacker. Prof Godfrey-Smith explained “Suppose there’s a large, aggressive guy there and you want to get back into our den, if you approach with a pale color it could be interpreted as a non-confrontational behavior,” The research also revealed that octopuses display dark color when they want to fight in close .A darker color octopus usually shows more aggression than lighter color one.
The team conducted their study on octopuses those live in the colony of jervis Bay. Jervis Bay is located at the south of Sydney. The team recorded 53 hours of footage and witnessed 186 interactions between the octopuses. The Survey team coined the term “Nosferatu pose” after a famous horror movie. The survey team also witnessed grappling and mating between octopuses. The changing color patterns on an octopuses’ body bolstered the idea that they probably use these tactics to signal each other.