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Quick Facts

Genus: Octopus vulgaris

Location: Tropical or subtropical oceans

The Scoop

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.