Octopus marginatus, in a coconut shell

And here it is, taking a walk while holding its shell with a few arms (good thing it has spares).


Figure from Cephalopods: A World Guide (amzn/b&n/abe/pwll), by Mark Norman.


  1. #1 beajerry
    June 15, 2007


  2. #2 Peter McGrath
    June 15, 2007

    There’d have to be a shedload of coconuts on the ark for the T-rex couple. Unless Noah, Shem, Ham or Japhet found a pair with eating disorders (which ate their own sick for instance, like dogs do). The coconut hold would have to go in at the design stage, and I see no sign of that in Genesis.

    Is that a hermit octopus that makes a habit of living in shells, or is it just being whimsical for the camera? It’s definitely not British, or there’d be a speech bubble bragging about high much the price of its shell had gone up since it moved in.

  3. #3 Dutch vigilante
    June 15, 2007

    Great, now my terror of all sea creatures expands to include coconuts.

  4. #4 mothworm
    June 15, 2007

    You wouldn’t think an octopus could carry a coconut. Although I guess that depends on whether it’s an African or European octopus.

  5. #5 dynaboy
    June 15, 2007

    Although I guess that depends on whether it’s an African or European octopus.

    What’s the sea-speed velocity of an octopus?

  6. #6 denise
    June 15, 2007

    < <>>

    I think it is an Indonesian Coconut Octopus. This is an article here:

  7. #7 Scrofulum
    June 15, 2007

    You put the octopus in the coconut and drink it all up . . .

  8. #8 MissPrism
    June 15, 2007

    In a hundred thousand years they will have coevolved into a symbiotic coconoctopus.

    Coconoctopus will then be hunted to extinction because it will be so delicious when curried.

  9. #9 sailor
    June 15, 2007

    Well, some human cut that coconut into two, so I doubt it is normal attire for the octopus, it also seems like not the best hiding place. It would be a bit like putting your head in the sand.

  10. #10 denise
    June 15, 2007

    Ii don’t think Trex really likes cephalopods ๐Ÿ˜‰

    (I will try to post the image here, I’m not sure it it is alowed)

    the link is here:

  11. #11 DustPuppyOI
    June 15, 2007

    You know… I think this octopus could play a mean four pairs of coconuts. I’d love to see the next attempt to break the record of world’s largest coconut orchestra to be played by cephalopods to the tune of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” with choice shots of “Life of Brian” projected on available walls.

  12. #12 dorid
    June 15, 2007

    Just more evidence for creation: behold the COCONUT: the Atheist’s Nightmare. Imagine, if you will, how wonderfully it’s made that the coconut fits so perfectly as a bed for the octopus, and how the T-rex’s teeth are made to break the coconut. God created the T-Rex to split the coconut so that the octopus would have a place to live. Surely the interdependence of these two animals are meant as an eternal icon of the peace of Eden.

    LOL Denise, that comic is a hoot. Kinda reminds me of that special a while ago about the future of the planet as evolution takes it’s course… with the octopus swinging from the trees…

  13. #13 Warren
    June 15, 2007

    Wow, this is like what hermit crabs do.

    Jeez, we live on a pretty damned cool planet.

  14. #14 Fastlane
    June 15, 2007

    I got to watch them feed the giant pacific red octopus at the Seattle aquarium earlier in the week. ๐Ÿ™‚

    That was fun to watch, the wolf eel was pretty impressive too.

    The suckiest part? When the vacation was over, I had to come back to Kansas…. ๐Ÿ™

    I’ll send some pics later.


  15. #15 Jenbug
    June 15, 2007

    My boyfriend’s high school science teacher had a pet octopus that lived in a coke bottle. All but one tentacle would fit inside, and it would just sort of hang out. Also, it figured out how to push up the hinged lid of the aquarium, and would squirt passersby. ๐Ÿ˜€

  16. #16 Diego
    June 15, 2007

    I have always thought that the octupus using the coconut trick was pretty cool, but I only just now thought of another implication. In evolving increased mobility the mollusk ancestors of octopus had external shells for protection which the cephalopods have all reduced to some degree or even lost as in the case of octopus. So this is an improvised strategy that lets an octopus adopt a lifestyle more closely resembling that of the ancestral forms. Nifty.

  17. #17 Stephen Wells
    June 15, 2007

    Now I’m imagining that this beasty was looking at a hermit crab and thinking “Hang on… I could do that!” Those things are scary smart.

  18. #18 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    June 15, 2007

    Notice in the second image, one shell has been stored inside the other. It’s a convertible!

  19. #19 inkadu
    June 16, 2007

    Shouldn’t this be called Friday Cephaloblogging?

  20. #20 craig
    June 16, 2007

    “Jeez, we live on a pretty damned cool planet.”

    I wonder if its just a sign of my mental state lately that I find myself thinking more along the lines of “Jeez, we live on a pretty damned cool planet, which was so much more amazingly cool until recently when someone came along and trashed the place and wrecked so much of the coolness.” ๐Ÿ™

  21. #21 Placozoan
    June 17, 2007

    I find it sad that octopi have such short lives yet are so intelligent. But I suppose if they lived longer specimens like this one might unite and take over the world.

  22. #22 Scrofulum
    June 18, 2007

    Yeah, but at least then the trains would run on time.

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