March 22, 2023
A throw by a female octopus hits a male that was attempting to mate with her.

Octopuses throw shells and sand at each other, and scientists caught their battles on video

No wonder, with so many arms, octopuses make great pitchers. They can even target other octopuses with pieces of debris from the sea floor – and score a direct hit.

For the first time, researchers observed the famous stroke cephalopods hurling clumps of sand, bits of seaweed, and even shells at each other, though they don’t actually fly with their hands like humans do. Instead, they use their arms to gather projectiles and then propel them using jets of water shot from a siphon under their arms. Scientists recorded videos of this unusual behavior in gloomy octopuses (Octopus tetricus) in Jervis Bay on the south coast of New South Wales in Australia and described their findings Nov. 9 in the journal PLoS One (opens in new tab).

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