Monday, 4 April 2016

The Soul of an Octopus

   My granddaughter Kaitlyn is an aquarist at the Ripley's Aquarium in Toronto. She works with jellyfish, but she loves octopuses and spends time with them when she can.  When she last visited here, she was telling me about the book that she was reading, "The Soul of an Octopus".  I found a copy in the library and began reading.

   Whatever interests the grandchildren, interests me. It helps me understand them and stay connected. When I e-mailed her to say that I had read the book, she was excited and wanted to go for lunch to talk about it .  So the next time she came to town, we did just that!
"The Soul of An Octopus" by Sy Montgomery
Page 1:"It's hard to find an animal more unlike a human than an octopus."
Perhaps that's why they are so fascinating.
The author spent time in the New England Aquarium in Boston learning about the octopus.  Surprisingly enough, my friend Terri and I also spent some time in that aquarium, but the octopus was hidden in the back of his display and we were more interested in the huge display of penguins.
Interesting facts about octopuses (yes, that is the plural)
- although invertibrates are not known for intelligence, the octopus is very smart
- changes color and shape due to emotion and health (excitement turns their skin bumpy and red)
- tastes with its skin
- may have up to 200 suckers on each arm
- each sucker can lift 30 pounds
- one arm in the male is used for sexual purposes
- short life span ( 3 or 4 years)
- 3 hearts
- brain wraps around the throat
- blood is blue
- lays hundreds of eggs the size of a grain of rice, stringing them together and hanging them in strands

  Some people wonder about animals in captivity.  One man who catches octopuses for aquariums, feels that the animals are ambassadors from the wild and will live a long and happy life.
"An aquarium without an octopus is like a plum pudding without a plum."
Octopuses have thoughts, feelings and personalities, but a soul?

1 comment:

  1. Loved your blog! So many interesting things about octopuses. Who knew? Thankyou. Terri