While octopi are marine animals, this octopus risks it all by launching out of the water in pursuit of a crab resting on the shoreline.
This order of eight-armed mollusks comprises more than 300 species, making for a unique variety of highly intelligent cephalopods that live beneath the sea. While most octopi are bottom dwellers that feed on crustaceans, polychaete worms, scallops, and clams, sometimes they will target shallow tidal areas in search of unsuspecting prey.
On land, they are much less graceful, but no less efficient, as shown in this video below. Here an octopus ambushes an unwary crab at the edge of a tidepool in Yallingup, Western Australia.
“Crawling along out of water is not uncommon for species of octopus that live in the intertidal or near shore,” states Julian Finn, a senior curator of marine invertebrates at the Museum Victoria in Australia, to Scientific American.
Pools left behind by the receding tides are often stocked with enticing treasures, including shellfish and snails. If an octopus remains moist, allowing for bodily gas exchange, they can persist for a short amount of time on land.
Like killer whales ambushing sea lions on the beach, these diminutive predators put themselves at risk to capture their prey, but ultimately, the risk pays off.