Common Octopus Facts
|Size||12-35 inch (30-90 cm)|
|Weight||6.6-22 lb (3-10 kg)|
|Food||Crabs, mussels, fish|
|Predators||Eels, sharks, dolphins|
|Habitat||Mediterranean Sea, warmer oceans in general|
|Scientific name||Octopus vulgaris|
|Characteristics||Usually eight tentacles with suction cups on them|
Most people use the term octopus when talking about cephalopoda. Yet, the family of cephalopoda is much more divers and also includes animals such as the squid or the sepia.
Where Does the Term “Octopus” Come From?
„Octo“ is a Greek word which stands for the number 8. “Pous” indicates the foot. Thus, the word “octopus” means eight-footed. The number of tentacles is the easiest method to distinguish the octopus from other species of the family of cephalopoda. It has eight tentacles, others have ten.
Octopuses Can't Sense Where Their Tentacles Are
We use "The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing." as a phrase. But it applies literally to the octopus. From its brain the octopus sends a kind of supreme command to its tentacles to move. They move autonomously then and do not provide the octopus with any feedback if its command has been executed. The octopus can only find out if everything is ok by looking at its tentacles.
Octopuses Like to Play
Octopuses like to play games. Apart from primates and ravens, only a few other animals do this. Octopuses have often been watched releasing bottles or toys in a water current, catching them again, releasing them, catching ...
Professor Dr Octopus
Octopuses are very intelligent. They open the screw-caps of cans without having watched someone do this beforehand. They also easily find their way through labyrinths.
Octopuses Have Three Hearts
The octopus has got three hearts. Two of them pump blood through its gills and the third pumps blood through the body.
Deep-Sea Octopuses Have Huge Eyes
In the deep ocean there are octopus species that have eyes measuring more than 16 inch (40 cm) in diameter. What do they need them for anyway in the utter darkness?
Octopuses get 2 -3 years old.
Female octopuses lay 120,000-400,000 eggs in shallow waters, mostly in crevices and caves.
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- Video: Animal Camouflage - e.g. the octopus' disguise