CRIVITZ - In Paul Matty's science classes, students at Crivitz High School learn about bullfrogs, beakers, and even a little bacteria. But what lives in the hallway outside his room has captured the attention of the whole school.
Meet Nautilus – "Nauty" for short. In the sea world, he's known as a "bi-mac."
"A bi-mac is short for bimaculoides octopus, that's the genus and species," Matty says.
The mollusk arrived in October, Federal Express from a research company in San Pedro, Calif.
Junior Zack Timblin leads the science project. He's in charge of feeding the octopus.
"The squid is what he eats," Timblin said. "He likes shrimp too, but squid is his favorite; he grabs it right away.
"They're friendly, they're intelligent, they actually enjoy human interaction," Matty said.
"I look at the way he moves, the way he functions, the unique structures of his anatomy, the little suckers – I mean that literally. I could sit and watch this guy for hours."
Filters keep this 150-gallon tank clean. The water is kept at a salty 68 degrees.
The octopus will only live a couple years, but teachers say this experiment may be just the beginning.
"It also is kind of inspiring us to look at marine biology more in-depth here, as far as the school itself," Matty said.
And it could lead to a career for Timblin.
"This does interest me. So it could be a possibility to do something in marine biology," Timblin said.
Until then, Nautilus seems to take it all in.
"Students and the community have kind of gotten behind this. They feel an ownership. They share an ownership with this, so they take some pride in it. It's doing a lot in a positive way," Matty says.
The total cost of the project was about $1,800. The high school's science club covered most of the cost, with help from other organizations throughout the Crivitz community.
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