Foraging Strategies and Predation Risk Shape the Natural History of Juvenile Octopus Vulgaris
The natural history of juvenile Octopus vulgaris in Bermuda was evaluated by assessment of their foraging strategies, movement patterns, and energetics. The octopuses foraged within small home ranges approximately 15 m in diameter. They usually remained in a home range less than 2 weeks, and did not defend it from conspecifics. They hunted by chemotactile exploration, probably assisted by learning, and consumed small molluscs and crustaceans, but spent only 12% of the daytime in this activity. Their energetics suggested a small but steady weight gain with this time budget, equivalent to that of other populations of O. vulgaris. The minimizing of foraging time and irregular movement may be due to pressure from predators. If predation risk is high, the octopus may maximize efficiency not by optimizing energy gain but by avoiding the risk of injury or death to ensure survival to reproduction.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1991-09-01
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