Of all the interesting and odd creatures in the oceans, nothing is so amazing as the octopus. Here are some octopus facts to wrap yourself around.
The octopus is a mollusk. It belongs to the same group as chitons, abalone, snails, limpets, scallops, oysters, clams and mussels. The octopus also belongs to a sub-species of mollusks called the cephalopods. This means head to foot and is used as the name because an octopus’ "feet" are attached to its head. When it comes to octopus facts, it just gets more and more interesting.
Octopuses tend to be small in warm tropical waters and larger in colder waters. Octopuses live in all the oceans, but are strictly salt water creatures. The Giant Pacific Octopus lives in the coastal waters of British Columbia and is the largest octopus in the world. The largest Giant Pacific Octopus ever caught weighed about 600 pounds, about the same weight as a Brown bear! The tentacles on the beast spanned upwards of 33 feet in length. Obviously, octopi are generally much smaller. For example, females rarely exceed 55 pounds and males average less than 90. The Giant Pacific Octopus is one of the longer lived species whereas most octopuses live only one or two years. The male can live to approximately 4 years and the female can live to about 3.5 years.
An octopus has eight arms attached to its head around the mouth. These “arms” have rows of suckers along their length. They are covered with suckers on the surface and many nerves within, which means they are used to both grab and “taste” things. As an example, the Giant Pacific Octopus has two rows of suckers per arm with 1,600 suckers in all.
When it comes to octopus facts, on of the more amazing ones is that it has absolutely no bones. The only structure anatomical structure is the beak around the mouth, which is similar to your fingernails. By the way, octopuses’ bites are poisonous to their prey.
The octopus has an excellent eyesight and well-developed brain. It can instantly change the color and texture of its skin to match the surrounding area. This camouflage is a major method of protection.
The body of the octopus looks like a bag. It moves as the octopus breathes. Inside the mantle (the body) there are 3 hearts, the stomach and other organs. One heart pumps blood through each gill at the end of each of the two appendages. Water flows over the gills and fills the mantle when the octopus breathes in. The water is forced out a tube call the siphon as the octopus breathes out. It can force water through the siphon rapidly and jet itself backwards if the octopus is trying to escape a predator. Using jet propulsion, octopuses travel many kilometers. An octopus can protect itself temporarily blinding an attacker by squirting ink at it. The third heart pumps the blood through the body. The octopus blood is light blue.