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Cannibalistic behavior of octopus (Octopus vulgaris) in the wild

AuthorsHernández-Urcera, Jorge; Garci, Manuel E. CSIC; Roura, Álvaro CSIC ORCID; González, Ángel F. CSIC ORCID; Cabanellas-Reboredo, Miguel CSIC ORCID; Morales-Nin, Beatriz CSIC ORCID; Guerra, Ángel CSIC ORCID
Octopus vulgaris
Issue Date1-Nov-2014
PublisherAmerican Psychological Association
CitationJournal of Comparative Psychology 128(4): 427-430 (2014)
AbstractThe first description of cannibalism in wild adult Octopus vulgaris is presented from 3 observations made in the Ría de Vigo (NW Spain), which were filmed by scuba divers. These records document common traits in cannibalistic behavior: (a) it was intercohort cannibalism; (b) attacks were made by both males and females; (c) in 2 of the records, the prey were transported to the den, which was covered with stones of different sizes; (d) the predator started to eat the tip of the arms of its prey; (e) predation on conspecifics occurred even if there were other abundant prey available (i.e., mussels); and (f) the prey/predator weight ratio in the 3 cases ranged from 20% to 25% body weight. The relationships between this behavior and sex, defense of territory, energy balance, food shortage, competition and predation, as well as how the attacker kills its victim are discussed.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0036883
Identifiersdoi: 10.1037/a0036883
issn: 0735-7036
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