Octopus

© Jean Tresfon

Name

Octopus (Octopoda)

Alias

Octopoda

Size

Octopuses vary greatly in size, from 1cm to an arm span of 4 m.

Octopus Identification

Octopuses have soft bodies and eight limbs attached to the rounded mantle on the top of the head. On each arm is one to two rows of suckers. It has two big eyes and the beak is located at the centre of its eight limbs.

Octopus General Info

The octopus belongs to the octopoda order which falls under the cephalopoda class. This class includes cuttlefish, nautilus and squid. Interestingly, most octopuses have three hearts. These animals are well camouflaged, changing the colour of their skin very quickly to suit their surroundings. They swim by propelling water through their gills and out through their funnels. Most octopuses use ink squirting as a defence mechanism. They reproduce by laying eggs which the female watches over until they have hatched, after which she dies.

Octopus Feeding

Octopuses feed on fish, crustaceans and molluscs.

Distribution

They can be found in all oceans – from tropical to arctic.

Common Species

Giant Pacific octopus
Enteroctopus dofleini
Marbled octopus
Octopus aegina
Red octopus
Octopus cyanea