Octopuses Defend Themselves with Coconuts

It’s well known that octopuses are extremely clever. They can find their way out of complicated mazes and can open bottle tops.

Smarty Pants Octopus!

But the use of tools is new in octopuses. After all, this needs considerably more intelligence than we previously thought these animals had.

This was discovered by Australian scientists, who even filmed the evidence. In the video, you can see how the octopus uses half coconut shells as tools.

Octopus Octopus - Photo: Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock

That Could Be Handy!

The coconut octopus doesn’t use coconuts to dig, but to protect itself from enemies. It gathers coconut halves from the sea floor, empties the shells and carries them around 65 ft (20 m) to join with a second half to create a small protective cave. They’re not invincible, after all. Dolphins, seals, sharks, penguins and sea turtles all like to eat them up.

I’m Safe Here

Octopuses like to hide in small hollows. But they were never previously seen building themselves shelter. This could mean that octopuses can think with “foresight” and transport something that doesn’t help them in that moment but that will come in handy in the future.

Australian scientists believe that this is the first evidence of invertebrates using tools. This unusual discovery was published in the biology magazine Current Biology.

Which Animals Use Tools?

People especially didn’t expect mollusks like octopuses to have such impressive intelligence. The few animals that use tools include apes and monkeys like orangutans, gorillas, bonobos and Capuchin monkeys. Elephants, sea otters, ravens, brown bears and dolphins also have this ability. But that’s about it.

Octopus Octopus - Photo: JonMilnes/Shutterstock