Deep Sea World Octopus’ Garden For New Arrival

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Aquarists at Deep Sea World have created a purpose-built display to welcome their newest eight-legged arrival.

Staff at the North Queensferry wildlife attraction have constructed a naturally-themed habitat for the lesser, or curled octopus, complete with hidey holes, rockwork and seaweed.

Found around the UK, curled octopus get their common name from their slender, tapering arms which curl at the end.

Deep Sea World’s Nancy Sidhu said: “Curled, or lesser, octopus only tend to reach a maximum of about half-a-metre in length but they are extraordinary-looking creatures.

“In recent years their numbers have increased significantly in the North Sea and they are commonly found within fishermen’s pots hunting for crabs and lobsters.

“Although they are usually reddish brown in colour they can change shades quickly and discharge ‘ink’ when threatened. They spend much of their time lying low in holes and crevices or among rocks,” she added.

Octopus have no bones or skeleton and can squeeze through any gap that their beak can fit through. This could be a small as a ‘Smarties tube’.

The octopus has a highly developed nervous system. Its eyes are like humans and it has the largest and most advanced brain of any invertebrate.

Despite the fact that they belong to the same family as slugs and snails, octopus can perform highly complex tasks.

As well as unscrewing jars, they can open boxes, distinguish between different shapes and colours and complete mazes.

According to Israeli scientists some of the octopus’s intelligence is actually contained within each of its arms.

Each of the octopus’ eight arms can have up to 1,000 suckers and is controlled by an elaborate nervous system consisting of 50 million neurons.

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