I’d like to be
Under the sea
In an Octopus’s garden
In the shade
They pinned a romantic story on him about Octopi being aesthetic collectors. But an Octopus’s garden is no more than the leftovers, the bones, spines and shells, outside a den. Of course, a true romantic could counter that an Octopus picks aesthetic food…
The question I would ask is: does an octopus gesture? First, let us say that the term gesture originated in the distinction between voice and gesture, or oralité et gestualité as the French would say. The pair together refer to our total of communication means. It functions as a rough division of all the ways in which we create meaning for eachother. Since an octopus does not talk we could say that all his signaling behaviour falls under gesture. But that would be a fairly useless statement, unless we add that gesture is reserved to behaviour that is intended to communicate.
What do they do exactly? They change colour and texture (see explanation of chromatophores), they may use polarization of light. But why? Often the colour and texture changes are camouflage, but chey can also indicate arousal and/or threat.
I find it all rather amazing. But then I saw what cuttlefish can do…