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Saturday, August 27, 2011

'Water' cheeky little Squirt

A small octopus called Squirt is making a big splash at an aquarium in Dorset.

The common octopus at Weymouth Sea Life Park got his name because he gives everyone who passes his tank a soaking.

Like all octopuses he draws water into his body to absorb the oxygen from it and then passes it out again through special tubes alongside his beak.

Curator Derek Scales explained: "Squirt's a really inquisitive character and soon learned to lift the top part of his body above the water in his tank to take a look around.

"Then he realised that if he breathed out while he was doing that he could fire a stream of water like a hose.

"He probably fired at one of our team accidentally at first, but having got a reaction he started doing it fairly regularly.

"For the past month he's been squirting anyone who passes his tank."

Aquarist Greg Casten, who spends more time than anyone else amongst the tanks where Squirt is housed, has been drenched more times than he can count.

"We have to clean out Squirt's tank every other day, removing the shells of the crabs he dines on and giving his glass a clean," said Greg.

"It's got so that you have to don waterproofs before starting the job," he added.

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