A big back yard, a good neighborhood, nearby food options — what do octopuses look for when they go house hunting? Biologist Abigail Pratt wants to answer that question this week at the Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020 in San Diego, when she presents her preliminary research on why octopuses choose the habitats they do.
By scouring undersea video footage gathered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s remote operated vehicle, Pratt is hoping to pinpoint which features on the ocean floor make for the coziest real estate, including whether they prefer hard or soft ground and whether they go for submarine canyons or continental shelves.
Pratt said while the study provides a valuable baseline for future habitat research, further analysis and a larger sample size will be needed to determine what deep-sea conditions are most appealing to these choosy cephalopods.
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