Facts About the Octopus

facts about the octopus

12 Crazy Cool Facts About the Octopus – Nutshell School

  1. Not all eight octopus appendages are arms. Scientists believe two of them act as legs to push them along the seafloor.
  2. If an octopus uses an arm (or leg), they can regenerate one to takes its place.
  3. Octopuses have three hearts. And blue blood.
  4. The octopus has a sharp beak and a toothed tongue called a radula.
  5. The radula is used to drill into the shells of prey.
  6. Once inside that shell, an octopus can release a poisonous paralytic.
  7. They have no skeletal structure, but there is a skull to protect the brain.
  8. An octopus has several methods of protection, including camouflaging their skin by color, texture, and adapting body posture to blend in their surroundings.
  9. Octopi can change color to reflect their mood – white for fear, and red for anger.
  10. Octopi can release a purplish ink and propel itself away from a threat.
  11. They can reach speeds as high as 40 kilometers (or 25 miles) per hour.
  12. Female octopi release more than 100,000 eggs after mating, but only a handful reach adulthood.

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Some More Amazing Facts About the Octopus

  • The environment and lifestyle of cephalopods means that they need to be capable of complex and flexible behaviour.
  • As active predators they need to explore, understand and remember their environment and the behaviour of other animals.
  • Studies have shown that octopuses learn easily, including learning by observation of another octopus.
  • They can solve problems, as when they remove a plug or unscrew a lid to get prey from a container.
  • They are the first invertebrates to be seen using tools, such as using coconut shells to hide from potential predators and using rocks and jets of water in a way that could be classified as tool use.
  • Common octopuses will collect crustacean shells and other objects to construct fortresses, or “gardens,” around their lairs. Other octopuses carry shells for protection.
  • The common octopus has a wide array of techniques it uses to avoid or thwart attackers. 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.
  • They have been found to play with a ‘toy’ and to have individual responses and individual temperaments, with some scientists believing they have individual personalities.
  • All octopuses are venomous, but only the small blue-ringed octopuses are known to be deadly to humans.
  • There are around 300 recognized octopus species, which is over one-third of the total number of known cephalopod species.
  • Octopuses have four pairs of arms.
  • Octopuses have three hearts. Two pump blood through each of the two gills, while the third pumps blood through the body.
  • 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, with no internal or external skeleton, can squeeze into impossibly small cracks and crevices where predators can’t follow.
  • The amazing mimic octopuses are capable of changing their body shape to mimic other animals
  • They also have beak-like jaws that can deliver a nasty bite, and venomous saliva, used mainly for subduing prey.
  • If all else fails, an octopus can lose an arm to escape a predator’s grasp and re-grow it later with no permanent damage.
  • These are some amazing facts about the octopus.

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facts about the octopus


Octopuses are extremely colorful. Their cells contain something called chromatophores, which are basically little balloons that they can contract producing different shades of color. They can even produce multiple colors at the same time. Normally, they use this to hide from predators or communicate with each other. 


Don’t confuse them for shy, but don’t expect them to be the life of the party either. Octopuses are solitary creatures that don’t travel in schools or associate with others outside of mating. They’re usually hiding in caves unless they’re searching for food or something along those lines.


Octopuses only mate once in their lifetime and the females eat the males after. They do this because they stay with their eggs for as long as they can up until starvation. The males are usually distinguishable by their hectocotylus, which sits at the end of their arms and is how they’re able to mate.


Fitting into basically any crevice or hole, octopuses are extremely agile. The only part of the body that is solid is their beak. Even with that, they’re able to squeeze into the smallest spaces without injury or issue. They’re even able to get themselves out of small jars and aquariums. Aquariums have to create special enclosures sometimes with astroturf (octopuses hate the texture) to keep them contained.


When mating, octopuses can lay up to 100,000 eggs. Baby octopuses are only the size of a grain of rice when they hatch and after a year, only the size of a quarter. The many dangers they face after hatching are offset by the shear number of baby octopuses.


They’re able to retain short-term information, escape from enclosures and learn by mimicking each other. Octopuses are probably one of the smartest sea creatures out there. “Octopuses and their relatives (cuttlefish and squid) represent an island of mental complexity in the sea of invertebrate animals.” One generalization is that they have nine brains, in reality they have nodes all throughout their bodies with one centralized brain.


In the right conditions, octopuses can grow up to 30 feet and weigh 600 pounds. The Giant Pacific Octopus, which is commonly found on the northwestern coast of North America, can reach those heights if plenty of food and safety is available. The Giant Pacific Octopus can only live up to five years and most others up to two years.


It would be impossible to number the entire octopus species in the world. So far, we’ve been able to categorize 300 different species and barely made a dent. It’s impossible to successfully categorize the entirety of its species and habits.


Octopuses generally have three hearts. They’re Cephalopods, which means they have more than one heart that helps pump blood throughout their body. One of the hearts stops beating when they swim.


The Octopus Wolfi is the tiniest currently known. Measuring less than 1 inch and weighing less than 1 gram. It was discovered in 1913 and we still have a lot to learn from this tiny creature.


While only existing in salt water, the octopus can exist in both warm and cold water. The species that live in warmer water tends to be smaller with the cold water species being larger, which also effects its reproductive capabilities 

These Are Some Amazing Facts About The Octopus

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