I think Ruby has taken a liking to me; in fact she has been spending a lot of time strolling around her tank recently! While working in the exhibits during the past few weeks Ruby has been coming out of hiding on her own to wow guests with her beauty. Ruby, a red octopus (Octopus rubescens), is a highly intelligent creature. In some aquariums intricately locked boxes or bottles filled with food are placed into tanks for octopuses to open! If one spends hours on end in the Marine Exhibit, like I do, one may notice Ruby studying them through her crystal clear tank. Now that she has grown more accustomed to her new surroundings I must admit that I spend a good amount of time peering right back at her. While my aim is not to anthropomorphize Ruby or make her seem cartoon-like I must say that I am amazed at her curiosity, beauty and intelligence.
Earlier this week Ruby decided to remodel her tank by moving rocks around. Annoyed with her decision to remodel without first consulting me, I began moving the rocks back in place only to find that she had laid eggs! I carefully placed the rock back down sideways. While we are not sure whether these eggs will be fertile, Ruby is displaying innate maternal behavior by keeping watch over her unhatched young.
Hopefully you will catch a glimpse of Ruby while visiting our Marine Exhibit this summer!