The octopus is one of the most easily identified aquatic creatures. This eight-legged creature is a soft-bodied mollusk of the order Octopoda.
Almost 300 species of octopus have been recognized, and the order of the octopus is grouped within the class Cephalopoda with cuttlefish, squids, and nautiloids.
Just like other cephalopods, octopuses are bilaterally symmetric bearing two eyes and a beak, having its mouth at the center point of its eight limbs (instead of legs “tentacle” is the word used as a general term for cephalopod limbs; however, “arm” is used within a tautological context, to refer to these limbs while “tentacle” is used for feeding appendages that can’t be found on octopuses).
Octopuses have a soft body that can quickly alter their shape, and that enables them to squeeze through small gaps. They are known to trail their eight appendages behind them when they swim.
For locomotion and respiration, the siphon is used by expelling a jet of water. The nervous system of Octopuses is complex. Octopuses in their natural habitat are an excellent sight, and they are one of the most intelligent and behaviourally diverse of all invertebrates.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Mollusca
- Class: Cephalopoda
- Subclass: Coleoidea
- (unranked): Neocoleoidea
- Superorder: Octopodiformes
- Order: Octopoda
Octopus Habitat and Distribution
There are Octopus of a variety of species living in all the oceans of the world. You can only find them in saltwater. Octopuses are one of the most adaptable creatures you may ever know, and they live in everything from little swallow pools to a depth up to 2,000 m (6,600 ft).
While you may expect to quickly see octopuses when you go fishing, that may not be possible as the most common parts of the ocean where they reside happens to be the ocean floor and along the coral reefs.
They are also creative as they make dens where they use as their home and can not be detected in the water. They are also good at finding small crevices and hiding under rocks.
When next you are in the water searching for Octopus, you must know the right places to look and the right things to pay attention to.
Octopuses can easily blend into their surroundings that even the most attentive person or a well-trained eye may not notice them if care isn’t taken. Also when researchers can find where Octopus lives, it only lasts for a limited period of time.
They Don’t Get Too Comfortable In Any One Place
Octopuses tend to relocate to a new area every 10 to 14 days. It is incredible how some of them can live in bottles or other rubbish they can find at the bottom of the floor in the ocean.
These eight-legged guys are very opportunistic when it comes to getting a place to call home for a small period.
While they prefer saltwater, they are also able to live in various temperatures of water. What is quite interesting about them is how the species that live in warmer bodies of water are a lot smaller than the ones that reside in colder areas.
The fact that octopuses can be very adaptable to various areas of water is one of the many reasons why the different species have survived for millions of years.
It is a popular belief that all Octopus reside at the bottom of the ocean. Indeed a majority of the species live in such areas; a few of them also live really close to the surface.
With the majority of octopus species, the babies live at the surface of the water once they emerge from their shells for the first time.
This behavior makes them very vulnerable to a wide range of predators out there. The older they get, the further down in the water they will move.
Octopuses Are Very Sensitive To Toxin
As a result of pollution, the natural habitat of Octopus continues to be at risk. These creatures do not live well in places where there are too much of toxins. They do not find it easy getting enough food in such locations.
Areas with toxins are also unsafe for the female octopuses to lay their eggs. Sometimes the activities of humans lead to the Octopus having no choice but to relocate if they must survive.
These animals do not do well in captivity at all if you are considering getting one as a pet. They naturally have a concise life span. Living in captivity can create nervous system issues for them and put them through so much stress that they refuse to eat.
Some people have tried to keep them as pets in various sizes of aquariums, but it hardly works for very long.
Because of how flexible they are, octopuses can also take the lids off their aquarium and escape, which can happen even when you put a great design is in place. Most people know them well for their ability to escape from artificial homes.
Even though researchers have been able to gather lots of information about the natural habitat of Octopuses, and they do the best possible to recreate it, being able to observe octopuses in a captive state is quite tricky. The new setting affects their behaviors so much for them to be considered credible.
Types of Predators
There are quite a variety of predators in the waters that find Octopus to be the tastiest meal. Generally, the octopus’s location will affect the kind of predators it must contend with. Another factor that determines what type of predator the octopus will fight with is its size.
Some of the most common octopus predators include birds, large fish, and some species of whales. In some places, they have to worry about giant eels and dolphins.
It appears as if when the natural food sources for these predators are hard to find, they will depend more on Octopuses for food. With the rapid reduction in the number of sharks and dolphins left in the waters, those predators are now less of a problem for the Octopus.
You may be surprised to learn just how smart the Octopus is. They are one of the few sea animals that can problem-solve effectively.
This has assisted them in being able to do really well in their changing environments. They can easily find food and shelter in places you never can imagine.
Octopuses can recall both long and short term memories. Experts have noticed them successfully master mazes with various levels of difficulty in almost no time at all.
Octopuses can also recall locations where they found great food and where they must avoid. As earlier mentioned, they are also famous for being able to escape from captivity.
Octopuses can determine patterns, to differentiate size, and even identify shapes and colors. It is quite amazing to watch how advanced and developed they can be. The specifics of everything often depends on the species of octopus involved.
For instance, the Mimic Octopus can copy the behaviors of a minimum of 15 other known animals in the aquatic environment.
They do this to get protection against different predators in the water. They also change looks and behavior, so they can get closer to their prey without being detected.
There are several limitations prevent searchers from being able to explore just how developed these creatures can be fully. The fact that octopuses have a concise life span is why there is always a hurry to work with them.
Finding the best ways to test their intelligence remains something that holds a lot of scientists back as well.
The Octopus has a great body design. They can defend themselves in several ways. The most common defense tactic known is flight, as they can use jet propulsion to move quickly through the water.
Their flexible body is entirely boneless, so they can escape into tiny cracks, crevices, rocks, and even into cans and bottles that have found their way into the water.
The Octopus is also famous for its ability to release a dark ink substance from some glands in the body. When octopuses experience stressful situations, they are known to release this ink to disorient their predators. The ink reduces the ability to smell, as well as vision.
This makes the predator disoriented and confused while the Octopus makes its quick getaway.
The bite of an Octopus has a potent venom in it. This is what enables them to paralyze their prey while they feed on them. This octopus venom is not harmful to humans naturally.
There are only one identified species of octopus that has a potent toxin that can kill a person. That species is the Blue Ring Octopus. This octopus is so powerful, it can kill 26 full-grown men, in a few minutes.
The octopus’s ability to change colors because of their control over their pigmentation is very vital. They can fit into their surroundings and not be spotted easily by men or other predators. To make it simpler, they can hide in plain sight.
We hope you have learned a few things about octopuses. If you have questions or opinions you’ll like to share. Please leave them in the comments area below.