It may surprise you to learn just how intelligent the Octopus happens to be. They are amazing animals that are able to effectively problem solve. This has helped them to be able to do very well in their changing environments. They are able to find food and they are able to find shelter in places you would never imagine.
They have the ability to recall both short and long term memories. Experts have seen them successfully master mazes with different levels of difficulty in no time at all. They can also remember locations to find great food and where they should avoid. They are well known for being able to escape when they are in captivity too.
They are able to determine patterns, to distinguish size, and even to identify colors and shapes. It is really amazing to see how developed and advanced that they are able to be. The specifics of all of it though often depends on the species involved. For example, the Mimic Octopus is able to copy the behaviors of at least 15 other known animals in the water. They do this to offer them protection against various predators in the water. They also do it so they can get close to their own prey without being detected.
There are some limitations that prevent us from being able to fully explore just how developed the Octopus can be. The fact that they have a very short life span means there is always a rush to work with them. Coming up with ways to test their intelligence continues to be something that holds us back as well.
The fact that the Octopus doesn’t do very well in captivity is another issue. They have to be tested and evaluated in their natural setting whenever possible. Yet that can make it very hard to do when you consider the cost involved. You also have to factor in safety elements for the researchers. Watching their backs against various predators in the water is a priority.
Many experts agree that the future is one where the Octopus will definitely be able to continue moving forward. They are able to benefit from their environment and to continually learn. With most animals, they rely upon instinct alone for survival. That isn’t the case here though where they can develop amazing skills in various areas.
Just like humans, individual Octopus are able to demonstrate advanced skills of intelligence over each other. That is very interesting because you usually won’t find that within a species. They are all about the same level of intelligence all the way around. This fuels the theory that they are independent learners though instead of one that is only driven by their instincts.
The fact that the young Octopus can struggle to learn how to control their own bodies is also interesting. That is another reason why they can’t rely upon instinct alone. It is through trial and error that they actually learn how to move their bodies in the ways that help them to be successful hunters and survivors.
Finding funding for ongoing testing in the area of Octopus intelligence though is a barrier. Most people don’t find such experimentation to be worthwhile. There are many other animals that they feel are more important to evaluate. You also have animal rights groups that don’t feel these animals should be bothered in such a manner.
If you would like to find out for yourself how intelligent they are, go online and view various videos of them. You will be amazed at some of the things they are able to do. This can be your opportunity though to explore this side of them. For most of us, observing them exhibit high levels of intelligence in their natural setting won’t happen. This is the next best thing!
There are quite a few different types of predators out there that find Octopus to be the perfect meal. The location of the Octopus will affect the types of predators it has to contend with. The species of Octopus also affect it due to the different sizes of these animals.
Some of the most common predators include large fish, birds, and some types of whales. In some areas they have to worry about eels and dolphins. It seems that when the normal food sources for these types of animals are hard to find they will become more dependent upon the Octopus. With the reduction in the number of sharks and dolphins remaining those predators have become less of a problem for the Octopus.
More than 2/3 of all the offspring will become food within the first couple of weeks of their young lives. They are living at the surface of the water and that makes them extremely vulnerable. While more than 200,000 young can be hatched, a single predator can consume hundreds or thousands of them in a matter of minutes. The low survival rate is why there is so many young born.
The larger Octopus will put up quite a fight for their survival with these types of predators. That is why they will often be left alone unless there is really nothing else for these predators to consume. They don’t want to risk being in a confrontation with an Octopus. They can bite too which can release a powerful venom from their bodies. In fact, that is what they release to be able to consume their own prey.
The Octopus is one creature with an instinct to run when they feel they are in danger. They have a body that is able to fit into small spaces which makes it easier for them to hide when they need to. They can often get away from a predator by moving very quickly into one of these small areas. The predator generally won’t sit around and wait for them to come back out. Instead, they will continue on their way trying to find other sources of food that are easier for them to grab.
The fact that they can release ink from their bodies is their other line of defense. This ink gives them time to get away from predators while they are trying to re-orient themselves. They have a gland that created ink and then they can release it instinctively when they feel stress. Sometimes predators can get too close though before they are able to release the ink and then it doesn’t protect them.
They also have the unique ability to change their body colors for camouflage, very similar to what the Chameleon can do. With this process, they can go a step further by mimicking other animals in the water. They may try to act like an Eel, Lion Fish, or Sea Snake. It can be very comical to see them behave in such a fashion. Yet doing so has worked wonders for them in the water. It has allowed them to be left alone instead of a predator trying to eat them.
Even with all of these efforts though, there are plenty of times when the Octopus is just too slow for them to survive. They also don’t have the ability to hear so if they aren’t seeing a predator come their way it can be over before they know it. There has been plenty of observing the Octopus in their natural setting to see the balance of things and how predators are able to take control of them in a matter of seconds.
Depending on the species of Octopus, mating can occur from a couple of months of age or when they are several years old. Depending on the type of species there may be some courting and ritual going on before the actual mating occurs. With most of the species though it is more a matter of convenience than anything else. They do develop an instinctive urge to mate as the age of maturity arrives.
Octopus mating is a one-time thing for just about all of the species. The males often die within a couple of months after they have found a mate. The females often die shortly after they are able to lay their eggs. This is a very peculiar pattern of life and death for these creatures that researchers continue to look into.
The process of mating is very unusual as the males use one of their arms to place a sack of sperm into the body cavity of the female. The sperm sac may stay inside of the female for many months before she produces any eggs. The warmth of her body is able to keep it alive. There is a large volume of sperm given to the female due to the high number of eggs that they hatch.
Once the eggs form they will stay within her body for a period of several months. As she is laying them, she will spread some of the sperm over them. The sperm never touches the eggs while they are inside of her body. This process can be one that is very methodical and time-consuming. Even though she may be moving at a fast pace the volume of eggs is what is going to take up her time.
The females don’t eat during the last month before they lay their eggs. When she is ready to lay them she will find a safe spot in the water to hide them. It is possible for her to lay up to 200,000 of them at one time. Keeping these eggs save can be a very difficult job for a female Octopus. She will also have the duty of keeping them clean. This is accomplished by blowing water across them to create bubbles.
It can take from two up to ten months from the time she lays those eggs until they are ready to hatch. The time frame will depend upon the type of species of Octopus you are talking about. She will spend that last month doing all she can to protect these eggs from predators. She will be close to death by the time the young arrive.
They are instinctively able to survive on their own though. They have to stay fairly close to the surface of the water for their first part of life. It takes months before they are able to move to the bottom layers of the ocean floor. More than 2/3 of the young offspring will be consumed within the first weeks of life from various forms of predators. Those that survive will feed on plankton.
To help with the overall survival of the species, these young Octopus do grow very quickly. It is estimated that they grow about 5% of their overall size each day until completely mature. The cycle of life and death is a rapid one for them compared to most other animals out there. As adults death is very rarely going to be due to predators. Instead, it will be due to mating and to the internal time clock they have which says their time as a living creature is up.
The Octopus has a very unique body and use of their senses. This all part of what helps them to survive in their environment. The first sense to mention is their vision. They are able to see very well both during the day and at night. They don’t have trouble in the dark waters that are found deep at the oceans floor.
They have what is called polarized vision which means that different amounts of light coming in. Many experts believe that they have the ability to actually control the amount of light that comes into them and this is why they can see so well. It is hard to test out that theory though due to finding ways of measuring the lighting that they can see from the inside outward.
Researchers believe that it is their eyesight that actually allows them to have the control over their pigmentation. What they see is what helps them to determine what they will blend into. The vision of potential predators will also trigger for them the need to transform themselves to remain undetected.
The arms of the Octopus have suction cups on them that are very tiny. In them are highly sensitive feelers that allow them to touch their environment and to feel sensations from it. The sense of touch they develop from these feelers is amazing. They will feel all around in order to get a good overview of the area they are in. They want to make sure where they settle and where they look for food is safe for them.
They are able to taste with their suckers as well. This is why they are very picky when it comes to the food sources that they will consume. They have been observed passing up various types of food due to the fact that they remember the taste wasn’t appealing to them. Even when they are very hungry they would often prefer not to eat then to eat something that they won’t like the taste of.
Octopus are able to smell as well due to sensors at the ends of their arms. This is why they are often seen sticking one arm into crevices. They are being able to smell what could be lurking in that area by doing so. The fact that they are very curious animals is also part of the reason why they rely upon their sense of smell so much.
They are able to smell predators from quite a distance and that gives them the chance to move to safer locations. The abilities of this particular sense though do vary based upon the specific species. Some of them are able to smell much better than others. Since their arms are such a valuable part of their senses, they try to do all they can to protect them. At times though they have to give up one in order to break free from a predator. They do have the ability to grow it back though.
A sense that the Octopus doesn’t rely on is hearing. They don’t have any ability to hear at all which is why they also don’t use vocalization. They have no external body parts or internal mechanisms for hearing. Even though they are deaf they still are able to function very well. They more than make it up with all of the other senses that they have.
The use of senses is very important to the overall survival of the Octopus. The fact that they are also very intelligent allows them to gain even more from their senses. For example they remember what foods taste good and those that don’t. When they are faced with the smell of certain foods they can all ready tell if it is something they want to pursue or avoid.
Most of us are fascinated by the overall anatomy of the Octopus. Well known for a very large head and eight arms, it is able to move around the water with speed and grace. As it moves the eight arms move along behind it. When one of the arms is lost due to injury it can grow a replacement in very little time.
Many people are dumbfounded to see an Octopus fit into spaces that are way to small for their bodies. This is possible due to the fact that they don’t have any skeleton to them. They find these place to hide from predators and to remain undetected in the water.
The head of an Octopus is very large. They have a very hard beak on the mouth which you have to look very carefully at the head to find due to the fact that it blends in so well. Each of the eight arms have small suction cups on the ends of them. If you were to cut the body of an Octopus in half, it would be perfectly symmetrical on both sides.
Most people don’t know it, but they Octopus has three hearts. They have one that pumps blood through the gills for each side of the body. The third one is responsible for pumping the blood through the rest of the body. You may not notice unless you take a very good look at the body of these creatures that they have gills. This organ helps them with breathing as water is circulated through them.
Octopus body design
The foods that the Octopus consume go through a very interesting process. They have to be in bite sized pieces to go through the esophagus. From there they go into the brain and then routed through the digestive tract and into the stomach. The crop is a sac where the food is temporarily stored before it enters that digestive tract. They have a special type of gland in the body that triggers the digestion process.
Another gland that they have is to create and hold their venom. That is what they inject into their prey to immobilize it. Without this process they would have a hard time getting their prey to be still. They rely upon their powerful beak to be able to break the shells of their prey. When they can’t, they have a very powerful sucking ability to take it out of the shell.
The nervous system for an Octopus is controlled by the brain, and it is very complex in nature. What is very interesting is that they don’t have any organs for hearing. The Octopus is an animal that is deaf. They have a sac where they ink is produced when they need to release it and escape from danger. There is actually a gland in the body that creates it. The amount of ink depends on the species of Octopus and the overall size of it.
There are several different types of movement that the Octopus is able to enjoy due to the their overall anatomy. They are often seen walking around at a leisurely pace. They can also crawl by bending the arms at different angles. They will swim rapidly to avoid danger or to be able to capture their own prey. They also have jet propulsion when they need to flee due to impending dangers so they can go extremely fast.
The vision for an Octopus is very good and they use it to help them move around in the water. They also rely upon their sight to keep a good look out for various types of predators.
The Octopus has an amazing body design. They are able to defend themselves in a variety of ways. The most common is flight since they can use jet propulsion to quickly move through the water. Their flexible body has no bones so they can escape into small cracks, rocks, crevices, and even into bottles and cans that have found their way into the bottom of the water.
The Octopus is well known for the ability to release a dark ink substance from glands in the body. When they experience stressful situations they will release this type of ink in order to disorient their predators. The ink reduces vision and the ability to smell. This leaves the predator confused and disoriented while the Octopus makes its rapid get away.
The bite from an Octopus has a very powerful venom in it. This is how they are able to paralyze their prey while they consume them. This venom is generally not harmful to humans. There are only one species that has a powerful enough venom to kill a person. That is the Blue Ring Octopus. Actually, it can kill 26 full grown men, in minutes.
Their ability to change colors due to control over their pigmentation is very important. They are able to blend into their surroundings this way. Both humans and predators in the water can go right by them without ever seeing them. In simple terms, they are able to hide right there in plain sight.
They can make that color change very rapidly, and that does help them to get away from predators. When they release ink they may only have a minute or two before they are pursued. By blending into the surroundings though the predator will likely go right by them and find something else to make a meal out of.
For the Mimic Octopus, their defense mechanisms goes even further than that. It allows them to take on the coloring and the design of about 15 different types of animals. They will move in the water acting like eels, starfish, and more in order to stay away from predators. They will use this defense to also allow them to get very close to the food they wish to consume. In such a form they aren’t viewed as a threat until it is too late.
By nature, they are very fierce when it comes to defending their eggs from predators. Some species of females lay them in the coral reefs or well hidden crevices. Others carry them safely under their arms until they are ready to hatch. They will spend so much time protecting their young that they forget about their own basic needs such as eating. Their bodies are designed for them to do all they can to ensure that as many of them are able to hatch as possible.
The design of the body for the Octopus is one that allows them to have various ways to defend themselves. Sometimes they are captured by prey by an arm or two and that would seem like the end of the road for them. Yet they are able to instinctively allow those arms to be pulled off and they swim away at top speed. In a short period of time those arms will grow back. This type of defense mechanism is very fascinating and it works for all species of Octopus.
What is also amazing is that they seem to be able to adapt to their various environmental changes. With that, they end up finding creative ways to protect themselves. They will do all they can to defend themselves though. Any predator going after an Octopus better be up to a fight. That is why they generally leave the larger species alone.