Erakina

The ‘gloomy’ octopus- Erakina

Published Date : November 19, 2021
An octopus washed up on a beach.
Octopuses are quite an interesting creature of the aqua world.

Aquatic animals are innumerable and consist of various kinds like fish, turtles, seahorses, krills, octopus etc. Humans have always contained an interest in every animal on this earth and done great efforts to gather more and more information.

But there do exist some varieties of various creatures that are still able to hide their characteristics from us. But do not worry, our scientist’s never-ending hunger for more knowledge will unravel all the mysteries.

When I first heard the name Gloomy Octopus, I was wondering about the reason behind its unique name. This raised curiosity in me to probe more on this aquatic animal and here I am with another interesting feature on Gloomy Octopus or the Sydney Octopus….

Who is the gloomy one?

This octopus is quite popular by two names. The first is the Sydney Octopus and the second one is the Gloomy Octopus. We will tackle the reasons one by one : 

Sydney OctopusThe octopus is known by this name because it belongs to the warm waters of eastern Australia and New Zealand. Sydney is a major city on the eastern coast of Australia, from where this octopus deciphered its name.

Gloomy OctopusThe poor octopus is known as a gloomy one because of its somewhat lifeless white or grey eyes. It has eyes that seem to be dead and lifeless giving it a demeanour of being gloomy and sad. 

The real appearance of a Gloomy Octopus.
The eyes of the octopus give it a gloomy character.

The scientific name for the Sydney octopus is Octopus tetricus and has a lot of similarities with another octopus of its species called Octopus Vulgaris. 

Interesting traits of the sad one 

Some facts about the Sydney Octopus are:- 

  • It is mostly found in grey to blotched brown colours.
  • They use the large wart-like structures on their body to camouflage as seaweeds. 
The tentacles of Sydney octopus.
Tentacles of octopus help in locomotion.
  • The female tetricus often cannibalises the male octopus after mating. 
  • The cooler waters inhibit the proper growth of the octopus during the initial stages.
  • The cold waters can increase the size of the Sydney octopus as compared to those brought up in warmer waters.
  • Females are larger than male tetricus.
  • Adult male gloomy octopuses have a short life span of around 11months 
  • Female tetricus often die soon after the hatching of the eggs. 

Want to get a shock?

Recently in February 2020 a marine biologist, free diver and underwater photographer named Lawrence Scheele found something bizarre to be expected of such a big creature. 

The video has become quite viral among aquatic lovers. 

The video contained a Gloomy Octopus paying a visit on the land. It was seen crawling on the Manly Beach, Sydney. Though it’s nothing new to see aqua creatures crawling on land and that to octopuses are quite commonly seen on lands. 

 The Manly Beach of Sydney, Australia.
Gloomy octopus is found here commonly.

But the shocking factor was the extended gait of the octopus’ long tentacles. It was like challenging the existence of humans as the apex predator on earth…!!..

Is gloomy innocent? 

NO…….not at all…….

The Sydney Octopus might seem to be an innocent animal by its name, an octopus that just sits gloomy, preys and sleeps. But if you think that way, you are wrong. 

It has fooled and surprised zoologists around the world. 

The tetricus resides in intertidal zones near rocky coasts and reefs. They are smart enough to keep changing their dwellings by digging out dens and using remains of their prey like scallops, shells etc.

Camouflaging by an octopus.
Octopus are great imposters.

 Sydney octopus is also termed an ecosystem engineer, including shells. They create an influential habitat around their dens that creates an attraction for hermit crabs and fishes.   

What a smart chap I must say…!!..

A sassy one it is…

Until now we all have well understood the Gloomy or Sydney Octopus. This research has proved that never go on the looks of anyone(wink)…

Though our gloomy octopus is a small one, it still cannot stand against the smartest and worst ones which are Humans. 

The Sydney Octopus are caught as bycatch in other fisheries. They are sold for human consumption and also used as baits. 

Do share your thoughts on this article if you ever heard of such an animal. If you seek a chance to view a gloomy octopus, do remember me(wink)……… 

by Sambhavi Yadav

Content Writer (Erakina By RTMN)

15.11.2021

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