Today was full of adventure: an early morning puppy-induced wake up call, an hour or two in the rockpools – including an encounter with this guy:
(No, I didn’t take the photo – my hands were clearly being suckered at the time.)
And after spotting a spotted snake near the lighthouse, came the trip back to Cape Town followed by a thankfully unnecessary high speed mercy dash across the Southern Suburbs.
We have a busy week ahead and I still have to find time to write blog posts for the days when I might not be able to write blog posts.
But first, a well-deserved brandy. Cheers.
This screenshot from the BBC News website really tells you all you need to know about this particular incident…
…but there are more delicious quotes to be had by clicking through:
Octopuses are not unheard of in the seas off the south coast of England, but this particular cephalopod would have had to crawl more than 5km over hills and fields to find itself in the path of a car on the A381.
So it looks like you’d have to be a real sucker to believe his story.
More quota photos than quota photo, here are the pics from a pretty cool forty hours down in Agulhas, all contained neatly in their very own flickr set:
This flycatcher(?), singing us back up from a walk on the beach this morning is probably my favourite photo (bigger here), but shipwrecks, a giant starfish, an epic sunset (as mentioned here), some mice, plenty of fun on the beach – and yes – an octopus in a rock pool (seriously), will have to compete with one another for top spot in the memories category.
Om nom nom.
We’ve all had that cheeky seagull have a pop at our chips or our ice cream, but this time, the boot is on the other tentacle, as a juvenile glaucous-winged gull ends up being lunch for a Giant Pacific Octopus.
The event, witnessed by Ginger Morneau, her husband Ken, and brother Lou Baker at Ogden Point Breakwater in Victoria, British Columbia, is rare, but not unheard of, and is described in full here.
The Giant Pacific Octopus can be seen regularly patrolling the shallows of the shorelines around Victoria. They primarily feed on crustaceans, but are known to occasionally take fish and even birds. Octopi are extremely intelligent animals, and great problem solvers. Although they live only about four years, they can grow to have a span of more than 20 feet and to weigh more than 100 pounds. This one wasn’t that large, but it was still an impressive individual. What was even more impressive, though, was that it had one of its tentacles wrapped around the head of the gull, holding it under water.
It’s likely that the gull may even have been picking and pecking at the octopus before the tables were turned. Bear that in mind next time you’re devouring a supposedly harmless pizza. It may just rear up and bite back. Or… er… not.
Once the gull was drowned and the struggle over, the octopus took its meal back down into the icy depths of the Salish Sea. (Actually, I have no idea how warm it is, but it looks pretty chilly.)
Octopus 1-0 Seagull
Seriously – there could be one right behind you right now.
As Mr Nash would say: Mind. Blown.
(video from Science Friday via Two Oceans Aquarium blog)