Average lifespan in the wild: 1 to 2 years
Size: 12 to 36 in (30.5 to 91.4 cm)
Weight: 6.6 to 22 lbs (3 to 10 kg)
Did you know? Common octopuses will collect crustacean shells and other objects to construct fortresses, or "gardens," around their lairs.
What does a octopus look like?
The octopus (a cephalopod) is one of the largest, fastest and most intelligent of all invertebrates. Its body is rounded with long tentacles lined with powerful suckers that it uses for gripping prey and mobility. Its eyes are humanlike and adept at spotting the next meal.
Where do octopuses live?
Considered the most intelligent of all invertebrates, the common octopus is found in the tropical and temperate waters of the world’s oceans. They can grow to about 4.3 feet (1.3 meters) in length and weigh up to 22 pounds (10 kilograms), although averages are much smaller. They prey on crabs, crayfish, and mollusks, and will sometimes use their ink to disorient their victims before attacking.
What does a octopus eat?
Young octopus eat copepods, larval crabs and larval seastars. Adults eat crabs and fish.
What are the natural enemies of the octopus?
Its first and most amazing line of defense is its ability to hide in plain sight. Using a network of pigment cells and specialized muscles in its skin, the common octopus can almost instantaneously match the colors, patterns, and even textures of its surroundings. Predators such as sharks, eels, and dolphins swim by without even noticing it.
How do young octopuses eat?
The octopus is usually a bottom dweller, but some species will use the currents along the bottom of the seabed to move from place to place. The octopus is not very maternal; as eggs hatch, the mother will blow the young out of the den. The young octopuses swim to the surface and float among the plankton for a few months until they're ready to sink to the seabed and begin their life as an adult. When discovered, an octopus will release a cloud of black ink to obscure its attacker's view, giving it time to swim away. The ink even contains a substance that dulls a predator's sense of smell, making the fleeing octopus harder to track. Fast swimmers, they can jet forward by expelling water through their mantles. And their soft bodies can squeeze into impossibly small cracks and crevices where predators can't follow.
What was the world's largest octopus species?
The world's largest octopus species is the giant Pacific octopus. It's not uncommon for these giants to reach over 16 feet in length and weigh more than 110 pounds. When threatened, the giant Pacific octopus flees behind a cloud of ink.
Did you know this about the octopus?
An octopus will intentionally lose one of its arms as a decoy to predators, allowing it to escape. A new arm will regrow in six to eight weeks.
Octopuses die shortly after reproducing. Males only live a few months after mating, and females are genetically programmed to expire shortly after their eggs hatch.
Octopuses have three hearts. Two of them pump blood through the gills, while the third pumps blood through the rest of the body.
Octopuses are considered the most intelligent of all invertebrates. Experiments show they have short- and long-term memory, that they can distinguish shapes and patterns, and that they may even possess observational learning.
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Octopus Coloring pages
Print free Octopus coloring pages, click on the image to open the large version.