The coconut-carrying behavior makes the veined octopus the newest member of the elite club of tool-using animals—and the first member without a backbone, researchers say.
Amphioctopus marginatus, also known as the coconut octopus and veined octopus, 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 behavior including bipedal walking and tool use (gathering coconut shells and seashells and using these for shelter).
An octopus would dig up the two halves of a coconut shell, then use them as protective shielding when stopping in exposed areas or when resting in sediment. This, on its own, astonished the team. Then they noticed that the octopuses, after using the coconut shells, would arrange them neatly below the centers of their bodies and “walk” around with the shells—awkwardly.