Caught octopus given to Newquay aquarium

The curled octopus. Pic: Blue Reef
Image caption Curled octopus get their name from their tapering arms which curl at the end

An octopus discovered in the pots of a Cornish fisherman has been given to a local aquarium.

The curled octopus was accidentally caught by Ned Bailey, from Mylor, who kept it alive in a bucket and contacted a zoological team at Newquay's Blue Reef Aquarium.

The aquarium said the juvenile octopus was recovering well in a tank.

The curled octopus gets its name from its slender, tapering arms which curl at the end.

'Fine specimen'

Paul Strachan, from the aquarium, said: "The octopus is a truly incredible creature and can squeeze through the tiniest of gaps.

"It's probable that this particular individual was in search of food and was accidentally hauled up by the fishermen."

Although they are usually reddish brown in colour, they can change shades quickly and discharge "ink" when threatened. They spend much of their time lying low in holes and crevices, or among rocks.

Mr Strachan said: "It's a fine specimen and is already proving popular with visitors who often find it difficult to believe that such an exotic-looking creature could be living around our coastline."

The octopus has a highly developed nervous system and the most advanced brain of any invertebrate, Mr Strachan added.

Despite belonging to the same family as slugs and snails, the octopus can perform highly complex tasks.

As well as unscrewing jars, they can open boxes, distinguish between different shapes and colours, and complete mazes.

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