Ten Things I Love About Octopodes

Well, I was going to write a post called ‘Ten Things I Hate About Entourage’ but then I stumbled across a story about an Octopus named Otto, so what with Octopodes being one of my favourite creatures on the planet, I decided to write this article instead. Before I get to the ten facts, I should tell you the story of Otto.

Otto lives in the Sea Star Aquarium in Coberg, Germany, where one day a mysterious thing started to happen. Staff were dismayed to find that the power to the aquarium was blacking out, stopping all the pumps for the tanks and threatening the very life within said tanks. They were obviously worried about these odd occurrences, and so they took turns sleeping in the aquarium.

Eventually they found the source of the problem.

Otto, the 2 foot 7 inch Octopus, apparently annoyed by a 2000w overhead light had discovered that he could swing himself up onto the side of his tank and bullseye the light with a carefully aimed water jet, extinguishing it and causing the aquarium-wide power outages at the same time.

The crafty little Cephalopod is already known for his mischievous nature, periodically rearranging his tank, throwing stones at the glass and damaging it, and – my favourite – juggling hermit crabs.

What an absolute legend! Stories like this are why I adore my aquatic friends. Anyway, as promised, my ten things, in no particular order:

  1. Octopus arms are commonly referred to as tentacles, although this is not strictly speaking true. The Octopus arm is a muscular hydrostat, much like the tongue of a human.
  2. Over half of their nervous system is in their arms – A severed Octopus arm will still pick up food and push it towards where the mouth used to be.
  3. Although they can use any arm for any job, researchers have found that they have a favourite arm or two, which they will often use in preference.
  4. As of 2009, they are the only invertebrate to have been observed using tools – a trait once only thought to be human.
  5. Not only can they use tools, but have both a short-term and long-term memory, excellent cognitive and problem solving skills – and there are many examples of this behaviour. Opening jars, playing with toys, escaping tanks to eat stuff, and as mentioned above, shooting at lights are all documented Octo-acts.
  6. They are masters of disguise and camouflage, to the point of becoming effectively invisible. They apparently also change colour according to mood. Red means happy.
  7. Most species of Octopus have no bones or shell whatsoever, the only hard part of their body being a beak. this means that they can squeeze through tiny gaps many times smaller than themselves.
  8. The Octopus’s Garden, while it sounds jolly, is actually a collection of bones, shells and spines outside the entrance to the Octopus’s den, the discarded remains of its many meals.
  9. The female Octopus in some species can have a couple of hundred thousand eggs, which it will gather in its arms, and hide in its den, attaching in strings to the roof. It will care for them for about a month, blowing streams of water over them for oxygen, until they hatch.
  10. During the egg-caring period, the mother Octopus will not hunt, instead sometimes choosing to eat a couple of her own arms if she gets peckish. Eventually when they hatch, she will not be strong enough to defend herself, and will shuffle off somewhere to either die or get eaten.

So there you have it. Octopodes are fully awesome. I’ve included a cool video below, plus a couple of other Octopus-related link for your delectation. Something I should point out, by the way: Octopi, Octopodes and Octopuses are all current, allowable plural terms. I prefer the term Octopodes.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54EeVpRwd9Y]

Advanced Aquarist – Housing An Octopus

Octopus basics – Keeping an Octopus as a pet

Wikipedia entry

On a final note, I guess everyone who is paying any attention to the world cup will also be aware that “Paul the Psychic Octopus” correctly predicted all of Germany’s outcomes in this world cup, including their defeat by Spain last night.

For the record I think a psychic Octopus is about as likely as a psychic human, dog or blade of grass.

UPDATE: I’ve had lots of positive comments about this post, thanks so much for all your kind words and link backs! I’m really glad everyone enjoyed my article! I’m @badhex on twitter if you want to follow me.

I’ll leave you with one more bonus fact: Octopodes have not one, not two, but THREE hearts. That’s enough love for anyone!

😉

Tags: , , , , , ,

128 Responses to “Ten Things I Love About Octopodes”

  1. dennisfinocchiaro Says:

    Wow informative post. Especially how creepy an Octopus’ Garden would be…Ringo lied to us! :)
    http://www.denwrites.com

  2. Ten Things I Love About Octopodes (via neverbeengood.) « Atika's Says:

    […] Ten Things I Love About Octopodes (via neverbeengood.) Well, I was going to write a post called 'Ten Things I Hate About Entourage' but then I stumbled across a story about an Octopus named Otto, so what with Octopodes being one of my favourite creatures on the planet, I decided to write this article instead. Before I get to the ten facts, I should tell you the story of Otto. Otto lives in the Sea Star Aquarium in Coberg, Germany, where one day a mysterious thing started to happen. Staff were dismaye … Read More […]

  3. iulren Says:

    this is an incredible story. it defeats everything we know about the world. they practicly have no brain.how is this possible?

  4. Tweets that mention Ten Things I Love About Octopodes « neverbeengood. -- Topsy.com Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Joe Johnson and Lynne. Lynne said: Octopi. All hail our future leaders. Here's one to rival Psychic Paul – http://tinyurl.com/33tuhph Otto. He gets shit done. […]

  5. Lakia Says:

    hahahaha as psychic as a blade of grass??? LOL too funny

  6. outofherhead Says:

    wow
    that was amazing
    i really liked it
    i never knew female octopuses
    die after they lay their eggs
    wow
    and us humans thought we had it bad
    lls

  7. newtowritinggirl Says:

    I’m so glad you read that article and did this post – it’s awesome. I love facts and have already shared the eggs/eating legs and juggling facts. Wonder how many more I can share today…?

  8. Lulu Says:

    I love this post! amazing facts about them.
    I am a bit upset about Paul the octopus that predicted the victory of Spain over Germany, hehe, but above all, he is just a cute octopus, did I say cute? hehe ya after I read your post! Thanks

  9. Zara Moberg Says:

    Thank you for a fun atricle! I didn’t really like octopuses before, but your article has charmed me. From now on I’ll hope to see one every time I go scuba diving.

  10. badhex Says:

    I wish I could scuba dive! I would absolutely love to play with an Octopus in its natural habitat!

  11. badhex Says:

    Thanks! I’m glad so many people have read and enjoyed it, thanks to wordpress!

  12. badhex Says:

    Me too, thanks! Go forth and share!

  13. Munda Sanichari Says:

    searching for paul…n found ur link…amazing facts !!!

  14. How do you spell Doc Oc « marry me moses Says:

    My friend Sarah loves octopodes, and I can see why.  I found this cool article with just a few reasons why octopodes are neat, and thought I would share.

  15. Marvi Marti Says:

    Okay now I find all of this fascinating! Here I thought it was some kind of urban legend about them squeezing through a key hole but maybe not? I don’t mind saying that I’m kinda creeped out by them but again fascinated! I will be sharing a link to this on my ‘recommended reads’ section of my blog and tweeting it. Thanks for such a neat post!!

  16. badhex Says:

    Thanks!

  17. hodamerei Says:

    – NICE ARTICLE!

  18. Michael LaBossiere Says:

    Don’t forget their appearances in many really bad science fiction films (sometimes involving megasharks and out of work popstars).

  19. willireallydothis Says:

    Made my day!

  20. Rita Says:

    GREAT ARTICLE especially the part about the light

  21. Molly Says:

    As a fellow octopi-lover, I LOVE this post. Wonderful.

  22. sarahnsh Says:

    Octopuses are definitely a lot of fun, I’m glad you decided to post this article about them! I knew some of these facts, though I didn’t know about the garden and that they died after caring for their young, though I knew they did care for their young. I love that he juggled hermit crabs, did he juggle them before he ate them?

  23. Peter Sigrist Says:

    This post is awesome. I learned more about octopodes here than a typical half-hour of Attenborough could ever deliver (he’s still a veritable legend though). Thanks!

  24. Pulpo PRD ® Says:

    Has you know, octopus in spanish is pulpo, and for that, i want to thank you, in the name of all the staff of Pulpo Productions your nice words and observations about this amazing creature.

  25. badhex Says:

    You’re welcome, and thank you! I have a few spanish friends and they told me the spanish name. Awesome.

  26. Chanel Hason Says:

    Ocotpuses are on my of favorite animals too :) ! Enjoyed your post- I also talked about Paul picking the world cup winners on my blog- I love it!

  27. fourreasons Says:

    sweet, didn’t realise they were so personable :)

  28. badhex Says:

    Me too! especially as it seems to have given a lot of people joy :)

  29. badhex Says:

    Thanks! I noticed you did some work at an aquarium – would love to work with Octopodes!

  30. Munda Sanichari Says:

    I have stolen ur points to my post … between a nice article !!!

  31. thejamminjabber Says:

    That is too awesome. Octopodes are gonna take over the earth!

  32. badhex Says:

    Cool, glad you liked it! please link back to my post, thanks.

  33. Munda Sanichari Says:

    ya sure ….wil do it !!!

  34. TheIntentionalSage Says:

    How interesting to read a post about an octopus. I didn’t realize that I knew barely nothing about the inner workings of an octopus until reading this post. Thanks for making this entertaining list. :-)

    With Love and Gratitude,

    The Intentional Sage

  35. bmj2k Says:

    I’m looking forward to ‘Ten Things I Hate About Entourage.’ I have about 23 myself.

  36. ScottyMcGoo Says:

    Nice article!
    One more for you: two species of octopus, the Wonderpus (which has the greatest latin name in the entire animal kingdom, Wonderpus photogenicus) and the Mimic Octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus) have been observed to mimic the physical appearance and behavior of other marine creatures like sea snakes, flounders, anemones, and more. The mimic octopus is the master of disguise, capable of imitating more than 15 different animals…
    Rock on, Mimic Octopus, rock on…

  37. badhex Says:

    Oh don’t worry, it will be written 😉

  38. thejamminjabber Says:

    I like wonderpuss.

  39. badhex Says:

    Wonderpus Photogenicus? That is truly awesome!

  40. asad123 Says:

    Great post. If you would like to see evidence of an octopus using tools, look at this video of an octopus turning a coconut shell into armor: http://www.wfaa.com/video/featured-videos/Australian-octopus-filmed-using-tools-79317172.html.

  41. meekthegeek Says:

    Thank you for this… I have always loved octopodes/octopi but didn’t know a lot of this stuff. There is a gorgeous octopus in the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla, CA, that I can watch for ever as it plays with its toys.

  42. mostlymath Says:

    I didn’t realise how wonderfully weird octopuses were! Some very interesting facts, I especially liked the bit about juggling crabs. Very cool.

  43. onepillawayfromchaos Says:

    Fascinating! I think I have a new fav sea creature! :)

  44. louisianefille Says:

    I loved the story about Otto. Who’d have thought that an octopus could be so smart?

  45. freehandprofit Says:

    Great post! Great timing too, I just designed an octopus gas mask for my mask blog! It’ll be up soon. I’ll be sure to send folks your way for all the fun facts.

  46. katz Says:

    How about some octopodes’ habit of carrying around coconut halves and using them to hide under? Or that video of the aquarium octopus killing a shark? There are so many things to love.

  47. badhex Says:

    Next time you go, take a photo for me!

  48. badhex Says:

    Thanks! Ping me when it’s up! Would love to see it :)

  49. badhex Says:

    I agree! So many cool things. The coconuts video is one of the links in point number 4 :)

  50. Pamela Vanderway Says:

    Thank you for posting this. I’m such a big fan of octopedes. To me they are one of the most beautiful creatures on the planet.

  51. icanplaythetimewarponukulele Says:

    I hope I’m not the only person who pretended their tounge was a tentacle for a few minutes after reading this =/

  52. Thomas Stazyk Says:

    Great post! I’ve always wanted a pet octopus. Thanks for adding the term muscular hydrostat to my vocabulary. I’ll use it whenever possible!

  53. preetalina Says:

    Awesome, awesome post! I learned a bunch of new things. I think octopuses are great too.

  54. mystic7ruins11 Says:

    I didn’t realize that these invertabrates were so smart. Great post. I would love to sit and watch on play or squirt water at a light. That strikes me as funny.

  55. pink magic Says:

    i used to work in a marine bio lab in Boston, and I was always surprised by how the octopuses had amazing situational awareness

  56. force factor Says:

    amazing post! learned something cool today

  57. rwjones Says:

    Awesome post. I have been trying to figure out the plural for octopus lately.

  58. christian Says:

    It has been suggested that the octopus actually has nine brains…because a brain is simply (well, perhaps not “simply,” but anyway) the centre of a nervous system, and an octopus has nine such centres (one main one, and one in each of its tentacles/muscular hydrostats), it can be argued that it therefore has nine brains. Whether or not those brains are small, one would have to imagine that when you put them all together they pack a pretty mighty punch!

  59. An Octopus with an Identity Crisis « ovenkitty Says:

    […] badhex has put up a fantastic post on the subject of octopodes/octopi/octopuses…much more entertaining and informative than I […]

  60. Ten Things I Love About Octopodes « My Buddy Says:

    […] reading here: Ten Things I Love About Octopodes Share and […]

  61. Vodka and Ground Beef Says:

    Great post. I’m totally fired up about Paul the Octopus right now. I want to ask him if I’ll ever be married, etc. I love psychic creatures.

  62. Estelle Kiora Says:

    Timely and funny! 😉

  63. cappy Says:

    This was a really cool post, good work! I’ve always thought it was so interesting that the mother octopus lets herself die after having babies. I saw one near death at the Seattle Aquarium a few years ago.
    They’re such beautiful creatures; love to watch them move!

    http://www.bymyink.wordpress.com

  64. Natalya Says:

    Cute story! I am not a big fan of them, but I always love reading facts and stories about anything I may not “like” because it does change my views. It’s amazing how smart some creatures really are!

  65. ebikko Says:

    love octo :)

  66. jesswu720 Says:

    love LOVE octopi and this post :]

  67. antkeg remi Says:

    This is crazy to know I wish more people understood this about animals…especially now with most of them being destroyed thanks to BP

  68. watch movies Says:

    I’d like to get me one of these 😛

  69. Can you have an Octupus as a Pet? « Aquanauts Says:

    […] http://neverbeengood.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/ten-things-i-love-about-octopodes/ […]

  70. Moths from the Moon « writer's block Says:

    […] reading neverbeengood’s blog “Ten Things I Love About Octopods”, I decided I wanted to know more about these moths that had always awed me. So here are […]

  71. shaney89 Says:

    a very informatic article..=)

  72. oasis Says:

    Love it.Because Spain Win!!

  73. Katie Boué Says:

    This post was delightful. I love octopodes, almost as much as jellyfish, and am excited to have a new term to call them by.

  74. cnip Says:

    Great post! and Great timing to talk about ur cute paul~~
    octopus are really smart!

  75. Lightning Slim Says:

    Awesome stuff. I may swear off calamari due to this.

  76. yuanne11 Says:

    The title itself is informative. I used to refrain from referring to octupus in the plural form haha.

  77. splashofexpression Says:

    This is a really great post. Fun and informative all in one. Although Sea-horses are my “it” sea creature, you make me want to visit Germany to see Otto. What a cleaver creature he is.

  78. ginger613 Says:

    Loved this! Octopodes have always kinda scared me, but this made me very interested in them. And I agree, I would never have thought that an Octopus’ Garden would be the creepy, graveyard it actually is! Great post!

  79. To Oregon (Finally) « From Behind the Handlebars of a Purple Schwinn Says:

    […] sea gulls, whales, other marine life and, of course, Octopi. Just take my word for it and go to this fellow Octopus-lover’s site. Bicycle in stormy South Dakota. Have to be honest, I'm glad I don't live there. […]

  80. trinimedstudent Says:

    Not to mention the fact that some are psychic 😉

  81. Adam Day Says:

    Wow. Very informative. I had never read about and octopus before nor had I seen one. After reading this I hope I get to see one someday. Maybe on a vacation in Florida ha!

    Check Us Out! A Little Place For Some Internet Traffic Road Rage!
    Road Rage with A & A

  82. niconica Says:

    Wow. Very interesting post. :)

    Cheers, Niconica
    http://niconica.wordpress.com

  83. octopuspaul Says:

    That’s pretty amazing!

  84. Biscuit Says:

    Crumbs I bloody LOVE octopoo.. pi.. podes. They are usually an incidental part of an aquarium trip but they are the btI am most excited about (much more so than sharks. pff)

    I am determined to keep an octopus at some point. I will call him Octopus Prime.

  85. ilanlar caddesi Says:

    Thank you for a fun atricle! I didn’t really like octopuses before World Cup

  86. badhex Says:

    I really wanted one too, but they are vere difficult to keep with success from what I have researched. Good luck though!
    PS Octopus Prime is the best pet name ever!

  87. Johz Says:

    Wow. These octopi are pretty impressive. I want one as a pet! I’m going to like this post right now.

  88. Ten Things I Love About Octopodes « Realidad Alternativa Says:

    […] dejar un comentario » Well, I was going to write a post called 'Ten Things I Hate About Entourage' but then I stumbled across a story about an Octopus named Otto, so what with Octopodes being one of my favourite creatures on the planet, I decided to write this article instead. Before I get to the ten facts, I should tell you the story of Otto. Otto lives in the Sea Star Aquarium in Coberg, Germany, where one day a mysterious thing started to happen. Staff were dismaye … Read More […]

  89. deadpoet88 Says:

    Great article! I love octopodes, they’re very intelligent and I somehow find them kind of cute. They are fascinating, I would love to keep one someday. The fact were very interesting, I didn’t know most of them.

  90. crazedtheatregleek Says:

    My physics teacher told our class about the mystery of the Vancovuer Aquarium octopus. Every night workers discovered empty clam shells in a tank and water on the floor. They were worried and couldn’t figure it out. Well a few years later they opened the aquarium for scouts to sleep over. Well one scout discovered the octopus crawling across the floor to the tank across form it, where all the clams had been found empty.
    Since then the tank has been modified so it can’t get out and such. But the legend lives on.

    Case closed :)

  91. blackwatertown Says:

    You could say that an octopus has nine brains, because so much of its nervous system is distributed amongst its eight arms. Apparently two-thirds of an octopus’s neurons are in the nerve cords of its arms, which have quite a bit of autonomy.

  92. y1p9 Says:

    I love octopus too .They are also regarded to be spirtual and some
    peoplle believe that they are also magically in a sense the way they
    move.

  93. Ten Things I Love About Octopodes (via neverbeengood.) « BE KINKY Says:

    […] Well, I was going to write a post called 'Ten Things I Hate About Entourage' but then I stumbled across a story about an Octopus named Otto, so what with Octopodes being one of my favourite creatures on the planet, I decided to write this article instead. Before I get to the ten facts, I should tell you the story of Otto. Otto lives in the Sea Star Aquarium in Coberg, Germany, where one day a mysterious thing started to happen. Staff were dismaye … Read More […]

  94. Paul Allen the Octopus…Shri Shri 1008 Astaang Baba !!! « Munda Sanichari Says:

    […] not funny,I got few facts from badhes blog which shows why Octopus is near to our GOD.First,Octopus have 8 tongues AstJivha…Octopus […]

  95. Munda Sanichari Says:

    Was very busy so didnt have time to give reference of ur blog ..I did it now !!!

  96. badhex Says:

    Thanks mate!

  97. Lee Says:

    Great article, I loved the part about what an Octopus does when it gives birth and then finally goes away to die. what a sacrifice.

    I was under the impression that Octapades was the plural, but i much perfer Octopi, it sounds like something Marks and spencers would sell as a posh fish pie. :-)

  98. Q-Mark Says:

    WOW!! Totally amaZing!!

  99. mr.pandu Says:

    i like your writing. and your blog. can you teach me how to be good blogger? i wait your answer.

  100. Jessica Y. Says:

    brilliant! 😀
    the invisible octopus freaked me out though :O

  101. Bob Says:

    It’s interested article indeed. Initially I knew that Octopus was intelligent animal, but your post brighten my brain. Thanks

  102. lostbutf0und Says:

    So many things I never knew! Thanks for enlightening me! 😀

  103. Publishing Links – Fight Writing, Octopus, and the Language of Lust « Leith Literary Says:

    […] I was particularly drawn to this because I have a bit of an intellectual obsession with octopuses/octopodes.  And yes, those are the two correct possibilities for the plural, one using the standard English […]

  104. ~ « an orchidite's blog Says:

    […] found this article on wordpress. so cool! http://neverbeengood.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/ten-things-i-love-about-octopodes/ […]

  105. bettywu2010 Says:

    Octopussies have between their large eyes a central ganglion. This large ganglion is adequate to the vertebrates brain.
    So Cephalopods are the only invertebrate organism with a analog structure like our brain.

    Betty Wu

  106. bettywu2010 Says:

    To meet a cute octopussy you don´t have to dive.
    Mask and flukes are often enough.
    In the Mediterranean I met Octopssies very near to the beach in very shallow water (water depth less than 100 cm).
    If you visit them regularly, perhaps they will recognize you. A gift-shrimp would attract them very much.

    Betty Wu

  107. Ten Things I Love About Octopodes (via neverbeengood.) « objets d'vertu Says:

    […] me Well, I was going to write a post called 'Ten Things I Hate About Entourage' but then I stumbled across a story about an Octopus named Otto, so what with Octopodes being one of my favourite creatures on the planet, I decided to write this article instead. Before I get to the ten facts, I should tell you the story of Otto. Otto lives in the Sea Star Aquarium in Coberg, Germany, where one day a mysterious thing started to happen. Staff were dismaye … Read More […]

  108. badhex Says:

    Thanks so much for all your kind words and link backs! I’m really glad everyone enjoyed my article!
    I’m @badhex on twitter if you want to follow me

    thanks again!

  109. hallowed grounds… « Kaitlynmeehow's Blog Says:

    […] By kaitlynmeehow i have so much to update. i’ll start with this, an awesome post i found on the front page. i love aquatic life! and the ocean is so […]

  110. scandalousmuffin Says:

    Octopi are badass. I want one.

  111. evidiefette Says:

    I don´t like octopodes because Paul, the german one

  112. badhex Says:

    It’s a shame that the actions of one Octopus could ruin your love for the rest of the species. I don’t think he’s psychic anyway.

  113. amar Says:

    nice article

  114. Daren Stottrup Says:

    Completely agree – Octopodes are the best! And kudos for using the technically true Greek form of the word! Underused, for sure.

    Also, not sure if you’ve seen this (or if it’s already been linked above), but I think you’ll dig this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5DyBkYKqnM

    The song in the background is great too.

  115. badhex Says:

    That is absolutely brilliant! The cheeky little bugger! :)
    I hadn’t seen that before. Thanks!

  116. Octopodes-??????? | Lukeworship Says:

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  117. Octopodes-??????? | Lukeworship Says:

    […] Posted on ??????? 9, 2010 by lukeworship From: http://neverbeengood.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/ten-things-i-love-about-octopodes/ During the egg-caring period, the mother Octopus will not hunt, instead sometimes choosing to eat a […]

  118. Octopodes-??????? | Lukeworship Says:

    […] Posted on ??????? 9, 2010 by lukeworship From: http://neverbeengood.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/ten-things-i-love-about-octopodes/ During the egg-caring period, the mother Octopus will not hunt, instead sometimes choosing to eat a […]

  119. Octopus-??????? | Lukeworship Says:

    […] Posted on ??????? 9, 2010 by lukeworship From: http://neverbeengood.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/ten-things-i-love-about-octopodes/ During the egg-caring period, the mother Octopus will not hunt, instead sometimes choosing to eat a […]

  120. Octopus-??????? | Lukeworship Says:

    […] Posted on ??????? 9, 2010 by lukeworship From: http://neverbeengood.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/ten-things-i-love-about-octopodes/ During the egg-caring period, the mother Octopus will not hunt, instead sometimes choosing to eat a […]

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  122. Eights Always Come Late… « Freehand Profit.com Blog Says:

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  123. Songbird Says:

    Yes, and calamari is also very tasty.

  124. “Dead or Alive” « Hour of Gold Says:

    […] since everyone has been talking about Paul the psychic cephalopod, here are 10 awesome facts about octopi for your enjoyment and edification (unlike the author of the original post, I prefer the plural […]

  125. amazonwithanattitude Says:

    I really enjoyed your list on octopi. I was familiar with some of the info you posted on these amazing creatures, but learned a few new things as well.

  126. milliondollardanny Says:

    Haha octopodes are such amazing creatures. To think they are capable of all that!

  127. lifewith4cats Says:

    Octipi are awesome. I would love one for a pet but dont have the heart to put on in a tank. They are just too smart and cool!

  128. work from home Says:

    I laso love that things actually.

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