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Scientists Find ‘Settlements’ of Octopuses in Australia, Suggesting These Animals Aren’t All Solitary Loners

Source: Phys.org/ University of Illinois at Chicago - September 13, 2017 in Science/Tech

Scientists Find ‘Settlements’ of Octopuses in Australia, Suggesting These Animals Aren’t All Solitary Loners
Photo: Sylke Rohrlach/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Octopuses are usually solitary creatures, but a new site in the waters off the east coast of Australia is the home of up to 15 gloomy octopuses (Octopus tetricus) that have been been observed communicating—either directly as in den evictions or indirectly through posturing, chasing or color changes, according to findings reported in the journal Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology.

The new site is the second gloomy octopus settlement found in the area, and the discovery lends credence to the idea that  are not necessarily loners.

Mating is traditionally the only interaction that occurs between males and females, and once it’s over, the octopuses go their separate ways. While little is known about the solitary lives of octopuses, a few octopus settlements—areas where multiple individuals congregate and communicate with one another—have been found in recent years. The newly-discovered settlement of gloomy octopuses, whose range extends from the waters off Sydney to New Zealand, supports the idea that octopuses can congregate and socialize under the right conditions.

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