Yes, octopuses have been observed to punch fish with great accuracy, so a group of scientists have studied the biomechanics of how they do this.  They found a well-coordinated set of movements involving sending abend down the arms closest to the fish, then rotating the arms outwards while using the other arms to grip rocks or crevices to hold the body stable. The octopus also has to coordinate the movement in a rapidly changing environment filled with moving targets so it needs to constantly monitor and adjust its aim. 

This behaviour has been observed and recorded many times over the last few years but scientists have no idea what its purpose is. One suggestion is that octopuses sometime hunt for food together with fish, and the punch is used to shove a fish out of the way in order to get to the prey first, but many times there seems to be no reason.

References: Hakai Magazine 8 September 2023; Marine Biology 28 June 2023 doi: 10.1007/s00227-023-04243-y

Editorial Comment:  The well-coordinated movements found by this study show that punching fish is a carefully controlled purposeful behaviour.  However, it is a mystery as it doesn’t seem to gain anything for the octopus.  Nor does it seem to damage the fish.  Perhaps it is a variation of the “leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein (the sea)”.  Psalm 104:26.

Creation Research News 21 September 2023

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