Scuba divers in Belize thrilled to encounter octopus hunting at night in Hol Chan
Octopus are one of the most bizarre and fascinating creatures on the reef. They are also one of the most intelligent. Possessing problems solving skills, phenomenal memories, complex social structures, and reasoning ability, they are the most intelligent invertebrates on the planet. They are also surprisingly powerful and flexible unlike any other creature. All of this together makes them formidable hunters. That’s what made this octopus encounter on a night dive to Hol Chan so special.
These scuba divers in Belize had gone on a night dive at Hol Chan Marine Park. The animal life at night is vastly different than during the day. The octopus is one of the creatures that is more likely to make an appearance after dark. It hunts by swimming or gliding over the rocks and coral, spreading its body out around the crevices and reaching under with long arms to catch fish. Any that dash out to avoid the tentacles will be captured and drawn into the center where a razor sharp beak delivers a fatal bite.
Octopus can propel themselves using jet propulsion, ejecting a stream of water through the vent hole. They can also use their limbs to swim. It almost appears that they are flying or even climbing through the water. Their movements are fascinating and hypnotic.
A male octopus will die withing weeks of mating. It undergoes metabolic changes that make it unable to eat. Some species mature in approximately six months while others may take up to five years. The females also die after mating, but they live long enough to care for the eggs until they hatch. The eggs will not survive without her efforts to keep them clean and aerate them.
Read more on Yahoo News’ Octopus encounter at Hol Chan, Belize here.