This one species of octopus plays with its food and has really weird sex

By Jill Replogle

Octopuses are freaky and mysterious, and they’re notoriously difficult to study. But research on one particularly freaky species shows us just how much we have left to learn about cephalopods: The larger Pacific striped octopus displays mating and hunting behavior unlike any other, suggesting that the routines we think of as being “normal” for an octopus might just be the only ones we’ve observed.

The octopus, which was first observed decades ago by Arcadio Rodaniche, has only recently become accessible for close study. In fact, it’s never been officially described as a new species, and has no scientific name. But scientists have been intrigued by — and skeptical of — the strange behaviors Rodaniche claimed to see in the wild.

Several years ago, Richard Ross of the California Academy of Sciences came across some larger Pacific striped octopuses on the aquarium trade circuit. He’s been studying them ever since, and his findings were published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE.

Ross has revealed some of the species’ weird behaviors before. Last year, National Geographic reported on the octopus’ strange mating ritual. Most female octopuses are quite aggressive towards males, and most observed mating has involved males performing the task of inserting … continue reading

Via:: Tico Times