Scientists were surprised to discover that the Octopus tetricus, a species of octopi, seem to live in a small city, which the researchers are calling Octlantis. This would appear to suggest that these octopuses, believed to be solitary and isolated creatures, might not really be so.
An international team of researchers is behind this new discovery. They noticed the gloomy octopuses as they were meeting up, and then monitored their behavior.
In doing so, the team recorded ten hours of video footage which shows the cephalopods meeting, communicating with each other, and even living together. They also seemed to chase away unwanted and unwelcome octopuses from their home.
Octlantis, an Organized and Rough Place to Live In?
Octlantis was discovered in Jervis Bay, which is on the coastline of eastern Australia. This small city of octopuses measures some 59 by 13 feet and lies under 33 to 49 feet of water.
It seems to feature dens for each of its inhabitants, which are made out of piles of shells and sand. Some 15 octopuses were noted to be living at the same time in this small city, according to marine biologists.
The new cephalopod city was detected quite close to another similar site. Named Octopolis, this was discovered back in 2009.
Just as with this, Octlantis is a quite organized but still rough place to live in. Footage showed how octopuses evicted other of their fellow residents from their dens.
“These behaviors are the product of natural selection, and may be remarkably similar to vertebrate complex social behavior,” stated David Scheel, the lead researcher and part of the Alaska Pacific University.
To add to the lawless nature of Octlantis, the researchers also spotted the shells of eaten prey discarded across the city. Some of the dens even seemed to be made from such material.
As it is, the study team could not find a whole lot of other similarities to Octopolis. Both these sites seem to suggest that the Octopus tetricus octopuses are not the solitary animals they were initially believed to be.
However, researchers are unsure whether these small cities are a common thing, or if they formed here due to an as yet unknown element.
As it is, specialists consider that more research will be needed to accurately determine what these octopi’s cities and their actions in them actually denote.