The footage, shot by a diver in Lembeh, Indonesia April 2015, shows the a small octopus, known as the ‘coconut octopus’ because of its habit of using coconuts and shells to protect itself. It’s found on sandy bottoms in bays or lagoons in tropical waters of the western Pacific Ocean.
More and more research is revealing that humans aren’t the only animals that use tools – chimpanzees, dolphins, and crows – use tools as well. But what about an octopus? Is the coconut octopus using tools? Some scientists say yes.
Researchers from the Melbourne Museum in Australia claimed the coconut octopus uses tools for concealment and defense by gathering available debris to create a defensive fortress. The researchers filmed octopuses collecting coconut half-shells discarded by humans from the sea floor. The octopuses carried the shells for up to 20 meters (66 ft) and arranged them around the body to form a hiding place.
More cool octopus videos:
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.