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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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March 11 from 4-5 pm at India Point Park, Providence
Join naturalists from the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, the Providence Parks Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership and the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council for a free GUIDED BIRD WALK at India Point Park in Providence on Wednesday, March 11 from 4:00-5:00pm. The group will gather near the parking lot for the park off India Street. There is also street parking in that area if the lot is full.

Step back in time at the Caratunk Wildlife Refuge to experience the history of maple sugaring! March 14, 2020; 9:00 am-12:00 pm.

On February 26th, we will head to Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge. We will meet at the end of Park Lane near Grassy Point at 9 am. Click here for the Google location.

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