While at the aquarium, the octopus provided biologists the chance to study her kind.
"Relatively little work has been done, particularly in relation to cognition, on the lesser octopus, the most prevalent species on the Scottish coastline," the aquarium wrote in a press release.
Indeed, the octopus consistently wowed staff and visitors alike with her smarts. Staff at the aquarium kept her engaged by giving her mazes and puzzles to solve and watched her retrieve snacks from closed jars ("a task once thought to be too complex for the lesser octopus," said the aquarium). All of which highlighted the intelligence and problem-solving skills for which octopuses are well known.
"She was very fast at learning new puzzles," aquarium marine biologist Dr. Lauren Smith told Discovery News. "We would introduce things in stages, starting off with relatively easy tasks and then increasing the difficulty. She would usually just need one attempt with a new puzzle before she learned what to do when it was presented to her the next time."
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Now it's time for the star pupil to find a mate. While the estimated lifespan of a lesser octopus is usually around 1 to 5 years, according to Smith it could be more like 18 months, based on prior research about the creature's life in Scottish waters (by University of Aberdeen professor Peter Boyle).
She's in luck, as far as her surroundings go, said Smith.
"The habitat is ideal for her out in the Moray Firth, with rocky overhangs and dense kelp coverage, which prevents larger predators such as cod and seals from getting in too close," Smith said, adding that the octopus' favorite food, green shore crab, is plentiful in those waters.
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"I have seen other octopus of the same species when out diving along the coast," said Smith, "so hopefully she will find a mate too."
If she does find a mate, she will lay her eggs and then stay with them until they hatch, never leaving them even to feed herself. True to her species, she will die soon after the eggs hatch.
VIEW PHOTOS: A Smart Octopus Is Released Back into Scottish Waters