Octopus jealously guards his Mr Potato Head toy


22 Responses to “Octopus jealously guards his Mr Potato Head toy”

  1. erindipity says:

    That is strange and adorable :)

  2. Brainspore says:

    The article mentions that the octopus has figured out how to open the little door in the back to get food out of Mr. Potato Head’s butt. So it appears that:

    1. Aquarium staff packed a toy with crab meat.
    2. They gave said toy to an octopus.
    3. They acted all surprised when it didn’t want to give the toy back.

    I’m often impressed by the intelligence of octopi, but this story isn’t really that indicative of their playfulness as it is of their appetite. It’s more like a dog with a bone than a monkey with a doll.

  3. tallpat says:

    Last year we had Walrus/Bucket drama. Is this what we have in store for 2008?

  4. Cpt. Tim says:

    i love these guys. they can demonstrate a pretty high level of problem solving, and they develop relationships with handlers. they know which ones they like and which they don’t

    like a slimy squishy dog.

    Give em a few million years and they might be the next intelligent life forms on the planet. Underwater environment gives them leeway to increase brain size, and unlike dolphins they’ve got the hardware to start using tools and changing their environment.

  5. adent1066 says:

    Beethoven’s Ninth on an octopus

  6. malex says:

    I believe I found a video of the octopus in question:


  7. Xeni Jardin says:


  8. JY Yang says:

    Mr Slater added: ‘Octopuses are very intelligent and they like to be stimulated and busy.’

    Am I the only one who thought of tentacle porn when I read that?

    …yes, apparently.

    Moving along.

  9. bobkat says:

    Someday people will finally realize that other species are much more intelligent than we give them credit for. Octopi, for instance. There are other kinds of intelligence than what humans typically test for!
    Then again, perhaps we’ll have killed off most of the species on the planet before we realize it. Yeah, humans are real smart!

  10. yannish says:

    Octupi have also been known to open screw top jars for food.
    I keep one on my cuboard to open the peanut butter jar.

  11. Fried Gold says:

    Shouldn’t someone that works at an aquarium know the proper word for the plural of octopus?

    Or, is that just me?

  12. chris says:

    Too bad he wasn’t born in the US or we’d have a viable presidential candidate this time around.

  13. Takuan says:

    nope. overqualified.

  14. Antinous says:

    Awwww. They should get him a kitten.

  15. akbar56 says:

    I just wonder what the world would have become if Octopi had a longer life span.

  16. adamnvillani says:

    “Octopi” is common enough to be acceptable now, but it isn’t “proper” in any sense except that people use it a lot under the mistaken assumption that it’s derived from Latin, which is where it’s appropriate to form a plural by changing -us to -i. From the Online Etymology Dictionary, “Proper plural is octopodes, though octopuses probably works better in English. Octopi is from mistaken assumption that -us is the L. noun ending that takes -i in plural.”


  17. Halloween Jack says:

    Don’t mess with Cthulhu’s stuff!

  18. iain010100 says:

    Sure it’s cute now, but wait until he grows up to be the size of a luxury liner.

  19. Takuan says:

    They really are smart you know, divers in Puget Sound will attest to that since some will actually interact with them as long time acquaintances.

    I feel sorry for those I killed and ate personally, but it was free diving and a relatively fair fight.

  20. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:


    Was that a mention of presidential candidates?

  21. dogu4 says:

    Welcome oh octopodeous overlords, welcome!

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