The Coconut Octopus

The clever coconut octopus uses discarded shells for shelter. Find it in the tropical waters of the western Pacific Ocean.

The clever coconut octopus is most well-known for using discarded coconut shells for shelter. Its primary diet consists of shrimp, crabs and clams, and it can typically be found on sandy bottoms in bays or lagoons.

This particular octopus is a favorite among divers due to its many unusual behaviors; one of the most unusual is referred to as bipedal walking. This clever little species, about 10 inches (23 cm) long, carries coconut shells around with it for shelter by walking and sometimes even collapsing into and rolling with them.

The Coconut octopus’s use of coconut and also clam shells for protection has fascinated scientists, since it has become the first invertebrate known to carry and maintain objects for future use.

By John Fifer

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