A throw by a female octopus hits a male that was attempting to mate with her.

Octopuses throw shells and sand at each other, and scientists have filmed their battles

It’s no wonder that, with so many arms, octopuses turn out to be great throwers. They can even target other octopuses with bits of seafloor debris – and score a direct hit.

For the first time, researchers have observed the famous brain cephalopods deliberately throwing clumps of sand, bits of seaweed, and even seashells at each other, though they don’t actually throw themselves with their arms like people do. Instead, they use their arms to pick up projectiles and then propel them using jets of water expelled from a siphon placed under their arms. Scientists have captured video footage of this unusual behavior in dusky octopuses (octopus tetricus) at Jervis Bay on the south coast of New South Wales in Australia and described their findings Nov. 9 in the journal PLOS One (opens in a new tab).

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