Foraging Patch Use to measure Giving-up Densities of the Giant Pacific Octopus, (Enteroctopus dofleini), in Prince William Sound, Alaska (#831)
This study was a pilot attempt to see if giving-up densities (GUDs) could be successfully measured in the intertidal for the giant Pacific octopus, Enteroctopus dofleini, in Prince William Sound, AK. GUDs examine when a forager’s costs outweigh their benefits, or the point at which a forager choses to stop foraging within a patch. Patches were made of large tupperware bins with PVC substrate and 10 food items within. Octopuses readily foraged in the artificial food patches. This shown by food items removed from patches with minimal disturbance (which is predicted by octopus sign of foraging based on their habit of carrying prey to shelter to consume it). Also, crab remains were found left in the patches which consistent with known octopus behavior and diet. GUDs were lower in habitats that were estimated to have high octopus density, based off of previous research. These findings are especially exciting because this is the first time GUDs have been implemented in the intertidal habitat and with octopuses.