Octopuses, like other cephalopods, are quite difficult to sex due to lack of any external distinguishing characteristics. A trained eye may be able to spot the hectocotylus arm of the males – a specialized reproductive arm used to deliver spermatophores to the females. Additionally, females tend to be larger than males among most species. However, this can be quite ambiguous due to the different ages of the animals.
On the 12th of December, members of the Reiter Unit and the Cephalopod Care Team assembled at 10pm on the shores of Okinawa. After waiting several weeks for the stormy weather to clear up, we finally had the perfect weather and the low tide we needed for catching some octopuses. Geared up in our water shoes and armed with nets and torches we started our fieldwork with reef walking along the shore.
On the 12th of January, several OIST researchers presented their work to local middle school students from Okinawa AMICUS International. Sen, a member of the Computational Neuroethology Unit, also presented her work with the octopuses. The students learned about the different behaviors and body patterns exhibited by these animals and were fascinated by their learning and memory capabilities.
Thank you to Sofia Jain for the design.
Check out more of her work at https://www.wiseart.net/