The Facts

  • Genus/Species: Octopus vulgaris
  • Conservation Status: Stable. However, some sub species are endangered, near threatened, or   close to being endangered
  • Location: Tropical or subtropical oceans.


The Scoop

Master of Disguise

The Octopus is an invertebrate, which means it has no bones. It is a cephalopod and this means an animal with just a head and legs. The Octopus 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. The Octopus has a sharp beak and eight legs with circular sucker pads on them. There are around 300 species of these cephalopods found in waters around the world. Different octopi live in different habitats- some live in shallow water, and others live in deep water, or coral reefs.

Octopi range in size from just a few inches to more than 14 feet depending on the species of octopus. The largest type of octopus is the North Pacific Octopus, which may be up to 30 feet long and can weigh more than 100 lbs. The smallest type of Octopus is the Californian Octopus, which only reaches to 3/8 inch to 1 inch. The Octopus’ diet consists of clams, lobster, and many other shelled foods. It can taste with its suction cups so when it is in the dark it can tell between the objects it would eat and the objects it would not eat.

The main environmental threats to the common octopus are related to the destruction of its habitat or a reduction in its main diet of mollusks, crayfish, and crabs through excessive fishing or marine pollution.


Did You Know?

  • The Octopus has three hearts. Two are used for pumping blood through the gills, and the third pumps the pale blue blood of the Octopus through the rest of the body.
  • The Octopus is a master of disguise and is able to blend into pretty much any background using its elaborate camouflage.
  • The Octopus has no internal or external skeleton which means that it is able to squeeze itself into tight places.
  • The Blue Ringed Octopus has enough poison to kill humans. When the Blue Ringed Octopus’ rings turn deep blue that means that it is ready to attack at any time


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