Originally posted at hmsc.oregonstate.edu
Evidence for octopus intelligence abounds: the leggy invertebrates can use tools, solve problems, and display remarkable curiosity. But now aquarists at the Hatfield Marine Science Center Visitor Center in Newport have found a way to allow Squirt, their resident octopus, to express his artistic creativity as well.
“While a painting octopus is very entertaining and captures our imaginations,” explained Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan, aquatic vet for Oregon Sea Grant, “the real purpose behind this activity is to provide behavioral enrichment for these very curious and intelligent animals.”
The Giant Pacific Octopus has been a centerpiece at the HMSC Visitor Center since 1965. Generations of visitors have fond remembrances of seeing the octopus for the first time. “The octopus holds a very special place in the hearts of our visitors” said Becca Schiewe, Volunteer Coordinator for the Visitor Center. “Coming face to face with such an intriguing and intelligent animal opens people up to learning more about the wonder and mystery of the ocean.”
The octopus will create one painting a week during the month of October, designated by the Visitor Center as Octopus Month. By making an additional donation to the Visitor Center Octopus fund, visitors will be entered into a weekly drawing for Squirt’s paintings and other prizes each week, including marine themed art from local artisans, and an “up close and personal” octopus encounter at HMSC.
Drawings will occur each Saturday in October. October 20th will be a special day to celebrate all things octopus and will include children’s activities, face painting, special guest speakers, and an octopus feeding at 1 pm.http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/visitor/octocam.
The mission of the HMSC Visitor Center is to interpret ocean science and the latest Oregon State University marine research. The Visitor Center features displays about local marine research and the marine environment, including aquaria, touch tanks, and hands-on activities. A range of special events is scheduled at the Center throughout the year. For more information, go to http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/visitor.
Be sure to visit Hatfield MarineScience Center's OctoCam to keep an eye on what Squirt is up to!
The institute is doing a good job to explore the sea life. Octopuses are the beautiful sea creatures and it is good to have such competitions which propagate love for sea creatures among children.
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