Abbie Cheeseman @cheesemanab Scientists have discovered that, on occasions, an octopus will "punch" a fish for no reason other than "spite" Octopuses are ocean thugs that punch fish thetimes.co.uk AM 23 Dec 20 from Wales, United Kingdom Twitter for iPhone 2,914 Retweeis 1,958 Quote Tweeis 12.7K Likes
(Sampaio et al, Ecology, 2020) NATURE Octopuses Observed Punching Fish, Perhaps Out of Spite, Scientists Say PETER DOCKRILL 21 DECEMBER 2020 In new proof that 2020 has been a crappy year basically everywhere, scientists have captured video evidence of octopuses randomly punching at fish, possibly for no reason other than being spiteful.
Like humans, octopuses become more sociable and engaged after a dose of the party drug MDMA. In the human brain, MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, triggers the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin, causing feelings of happiness and closeness to others. The California two-spot octopus (Octopus bimaculoides) has a serotonin transport system similar to that of humans. To determine whether this system serves the same function in octopuses and humans, Eric Edsinger at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and Gil Ddlen at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, submerged five octopuses in MDMA-laced water and tested their behaviour around others of their kind. After absorbing the drug, the animals ignored toys, such as Star Wars figurines, that would normally have intrigued them. Instead, the octopuses socialized and spent more time touching one another with their arms than these creatures usually do. The findings suggest that serotonin played an important part in social behaviour in the common ancestor of octopuses and vertebrates, whose branches on the family tree separated more than 500 million years ago. Curr. Biol. (2018) Neuroscience