The coconut octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus) is a medium-sized cephalopod belonging to the genus Amphioctopus. It is found in tropical waters of the western Pacific Ocean. It commonly preys upon shrimp, crabs, and clams, and displays unusual behaviour, including bipedal walking (walking on two ‘feet’) and gathering and using coconut shells and seashells for shelter.
In March 2005, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, published an article in Science where A. marginatus was reported to have a bipedal behaviour i.e. it “walked” on the sea floor like a human would. It is one of only two octopus species known to display this behaviour.
Researchers from the Melbourne Museum in Australia observed the creature’s use of tools for defense, and the use of available debris to create a defensive fortress. The researchers filmed A. marginatus collecting coconut shells, discarded by humans, from the sea floor, carrying them up to 20 meters, and arranging the shells to form a spherical hiding place akin to a clamshell.