Octopus the Thief

Published: 7.09.2017
Level 5   |   Time: 3:34
Accent: British
Source: BBC Earth

A Giant Pacific Octopus, perhaps the smartest of all invertebrates, steals crabs from a fisherman.


triangle Directions

  1. REVIEW the vocabulary / background.
  2. WATCH the video.
  3. ANSWER the questions.
  4. CHECK your answers. (Show Answers)

triangle Vocabulary

  • bait [n] - food used to attract animals
  • a crab pot [n] - crab trap
  • sink [v] - fall to the bottom in water
  • sit back [phv] - relax / wait
  • wander [v] - walk
  • a crustacean [n] - animals like lobsters, crabs, shrimp
  • haven't got a clue [exp] - don't know
  • a graveyard [n] - a place filled with dead bodies
  • a slug [n] - [image]
  • a snail [n] - [image]
  • a clam [n] - [image]
  • enormous [adj] - very big
  • mammals [n] - animals like humans, dogs, whales and lions
  • two thirds [n] - 23
  • neurons [n] - brain cells
  • prey [n] - animals hunted by a predator
  • tentacles [n] - the long arms of an octopus
  • poach [v] - hunt or steal illegally
  • smother [v] - cover
  • think up [phv] - create
  • set (someone) apart [phv] - be different than
  • an invertebrate [n] - animals with no spine/backbone (like an octopus or worm)

[n] - noun,  [v] - verb,  [phv] - phrasal verb,  [adj] - adjective,  [exp] - expression

triangle Questions

  1. What is Steve's job?
    a crab fisherman
    an octopus fisherman
    a salmon fisherman

  2. What steps for catching crabs does the woman mention?
    Put bait in the trap.
    Drop the trap.
    Drink beer.
    Check the trap occasionally.
    Scare away octopus.

  3. Why can't the crabs escape the trap?
    The are not smart enough to see the exit.
    There is no exit.
    The exit is at the top of the trap.

  4. Why does the seafloor look like a crab graveyard?
    Steve has already caught many crabs.
    There are problems with environmental pollution.
    An octopus has eaten many crabs there.

  5. The woman mentions some animals that are related octopus. What are they?

  6. What is the octopus's biggest advantage?
    It has eight tentacles.
    It has a large brain.
    It is a fast swimmer.

  7. What types of animals have larger brains than octopus when compared to body size?

  8. Where are two thirds of an octopus's brain cells located?
    in its head
    in its tentacles
    in its body

  9. What is the octopus's first plan to get the crab?
    reach in and grab the crab
    climb into the trap and eat the crab
    smother the crab

  10. What is the octopus's second plan to get the crab?
    reach in and grab the crab
    climb into the trap and eat the crab
    smother the crab

  11. What can the octopus do that crabs find impossible?
    break the trap
    open the trap
    escape the trap

  12. How does the fisherman know that "an octopus has struck"?
    the broken crab shells
    the bad octopus smell
    the empty trap

  13. How is an octopus different from other invertebrates?
    It eats crabs.
    It has problem-solving skills.
    It can escape the trap.

triangle Script

This is Steve, a crab fisherman.
The basics are simple. But some bait in a pot, let it sink, sit back, and wait for crabs to wander in.
Steve knows that most crustaceans aren’t known for their IQ.
Once inside the trap, they haven’t got a clue how to get out.
The exit is obvious enough to us, but some animals just aren’t born with much in the way of brains.
But why does the seafloor here look like a crab graveyard?
Well, there’s another crab fisherman living down here in this cave.
And it’s a much more creative one than Steve.
The animal living here shouldn’t really be a problem.
Its closest relatives are slugs, snail, and clams.
It’s a giant Pacific octopus, an animal with one huge advantage – an enormous brain.
Taking body size into account, only those of birds and mammals are bigger.
Two thirds of those brain cells, or neurons, are actually in its tentacles.
And it uses them all to approach the problem of crab poaching.
Plan A is to smother the prey.
With the metal trap in the way, that’s not too successful.
But that huge brain helps the octopus to get creative and to think up a dramatically different strategy.
Once inside, there’s an easy meal, but this could be its last.
Breaking in was easy, but the octopus can do something that the crabs find impossible.
A sure sigh that an octopus has struck - a trail of empty shells and a frustrated fisherman.
(What can I say?)
These creative problem-solving skills set octopus apart from all other invertebrates.