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October 24, 2018

What Has Eight Arms, Two Spots and is Completely Captivating?

Audubon’s New California Two Spot Octopus

Watch closely and you might see eight tiny arms slowly emerge from a small rock cluster. You might even catch it moving gracefully creeping along the bottom in search of food using suckers. But you will have to look carefully – it is already a master of camouflage. A California two spot octopus can change color and texture to blend perfectly with its surroundings and its blue circular spots on either side of its head trick predators into thinking those are eyes. It’s a tricky one.

The Audubon Society of Rhode Island has recently acquired this captivating species of octopus from a breeding program at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) at Woods Hole, MA. As the name implies, its natural habitat is among the reefs and pilings in California’s waters, but it can also be found as far south as Panama. Although the species is not native to New England waters, the octopus will find a new home in the aquarium tanks at Audubon. Octopuses are considered the most intelligent of the invertebrates and can even learn tricks and solve problems. They can also CAUSE problems. There are stories of mischief in aquariums as they have taken apart thermometers, went missing from their tanks, and even diverted a water-recycling valve to spray on an aquarium floor throughout the night.

So the aquarists at Audubon will be keeping an eye on the newest addition to the Nature Center and Aquarium, but like everyone else, they will have to look closely.

 

Audubon Society of Rhode Island Nature Center and Aquarium California Two Spot Octopus

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In this Issue: A Few Sustainability Tips to Kick off the New Year, Beach; Clean Water and Green Bond goes to the voters on March 2 - Please Vote YES!; The Great Backyard Bee Count; Climate Change Legislation at the 2021 Rhode Island General Assembly. sign up to receive the Eagle Eye in your email inbox.

Meet Camilla, Audubon fall 2020 communications intern!

Join naturalists from the Audubon Society of Rhode Island and the Providence Parks Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership for a free GUIDED BIRD WALK in Providence on Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 9:30am (rain date: January 30). We will send details on the meeting spot once you register for the walk. Registration is limited to 12 attendees so please register early so as not to miss out!

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