Octopus Species Overview
Scientists have recognized more than 300 Octopus species. and there are hundreds more to be described and discovered. Scientists are still discovering new species. They live in the oceans around the world. They are only found in saltwater and they can live in regions that are either warm or cold.
They range in size from extremely small to quite large. There is plenty of misunderstanding out there about these animals.
The structure of their bodies with very large heads and eight legs going in all directions can be unnerving to some. You have to agree that the design of their anatomy is unlike any other creature in the world. They are extremely flexible too which is really neat because they can make the shape of their body to fit anything, even inside of a bottle lying on the ocean floor.
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Description of Evolution, Behavior, Habitat, Distribution, Reproduction, Predators, Diet, and Feeding Habits
In many cultures, they are deemed as evil creatures that lurk at the bottom of the water. They are said to be waiting for ships to destroy and men to drag under the water to kill. However, they are virtually harmless to humans and have no desire to be in confrontations. In fact, they prefer to run and to hide when they feel that they are in any type of danger.
All Octopus species consume crustaceans, mollusks, and fish. The majority of their food sources have shells on them. They will use their beaks to break the shells and consume the insides of them. When they can’t do that because of a very hard shell they will release a toxin from glands in their body. This toxin will dissolve the shell quickly and they can get to the source of the food.
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All species of Octopus hunt at night and they have amazing vision. During the day they spend their time relaxing and hiding from predators. They have the ability to change their pigment so they can blend into surroundings. That’s right, they can hide in plain sight at times because they look just like what they are against.
Coconut octopus – Amphioctopus marginatus
It can be hard to study these animals in depth due to their location. They don’t do well in captivity though so that creates an additional burden. They are well known to be very intelligent animals though. They are also consumed by people all over the world as a great type of food. Sometimes they are the main course and other times they are a side dish such as Octopus rice.
All of the species of Octopus have a very short life span so they have to mature rapidly. Some have a cycle of life, reproduction, and death in less than a year. On average they won’t live for more than five years. Experts believe their bodies are pre dispositioned to shut down after they mate. That urge to mate is one that is instinct-driven and they can’t avoid.
The number of eggs that can be deposited can be up to 200,000. It really depends on the size of the Octopus and the species. The reason why they have so many eggs is that very few of them will be able to survive to maturity themselves. Octopus are very interesting animals and they give us plenty to think about.
There are quite a few differences among the species of Octopus out there. If there is a particular one you are interested in you can find photos of them and information about their lives. It can be fun as well as educational to explore many of the different species in great detail. You will find that information is lacking though for many of them. There simply isn’t enough research that has been done to give full details. Hopefully in time that will be information we have access to.
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Octopus Physical Characteristics
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 seem way too 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 has 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.
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How Many Hearts Do The Octopus Have?
Most people don’t know it, but the 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.
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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.
Poison And Nervus System
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.
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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. Octopus is an animal that is deaf. They have a sac where the 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 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 lookout for various types of predators.
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Top Octopus Facts
You already know that the Octopus is an amazing creature, but there are plenty of fun facts to discover about them as well. Chances are you only know the basics of these creatures, but that is all about to change.
The Octopus only lives in oceans due to their need for saltwater.
There is no skeleton for an Octopus. This is why it is able to get into very small spaces.
They are considered to be the most intelligent of all invertebrates.
There are many stories about humans being killed by Octopus but most of them aren’t true at all. One species called the Blue Ring Octopus does give off a type of venom that can kill humans.
The ends of the arms on the Octopus have small suction cups. They have sensors on them that allow them to taste the food.
The life span for an Octopus is very short. Many species don’t live longer than six months. Others can live out to five years. The males often die within a few months of mating. The females usually die after they hatch their eggs.
There are more than 300 known species of Octopus. Most experts believe that there are many more we will discover as time goes on.
Each Octopus has three hearts. Two of them allow the blood to circulate to the gills. The other is for the body to circulate the blood.
Octopus can change their coloring to blend into the surroundings for protection. They can also try to act like an Eel or other animals to scare off predators.
A female Octopus can lay up to 200,000 eggs at once depending on the species. Approximately 2/3 of the offspring will die within the first couple of weeks of life.
They have extremely good eyesight.
The largest species of Octopus is the North Pacific Giant Octopus. They can weigh about 100 pounds and have arms up to 14 feet long. The smallest species is the California Octopus. They are less than 1 inch in size.
Octopus is consumed around the world and prepared in a variety of ways. It can be eaten alive, raw, and cooked. It is also cooked with a variety of different spices. You will find tons of recipes online you can try.
Some people keep Octopus as pets because they want to own something exotic. They are well-known escape artists though, with the ability to get out of even the most secure tanks.
They are considered to be very strong for a creature of their size. They can lift things that are many time their own body weight.
Some species of Octopus have been able to successfully kill large types of fish and sharks.
Sometimes it is called the Devil Fish due to the appearance of it. In earlier times this particular appearance was considered to be evil by men on fishing boats.
Should an Octopus lose an arm it can grow another in its place.
They don’t have the ability to hear. They also don’t have any type of organs that give the impression that they were ever able to in the past either.
There are some Octopus that live in very shallow waters but the majority of them live close to the floor of the ocean.
The smaller an Octopus is the more dangerous it can be due to the amount of toxic poison in the body.
None of the species of Octopus make any types of sounds for communication.
Even though these are water creatures, it is known for them to leave water for brief periods of time when in their natural environment.
The Octopus is categorized as a mollusk.
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