~ The Octopus ~

An octopus has a soft body and eight arms. Each arm has two rows of suction cups. If it loses an arm, it will eventually regrow another arm. It has blue blood. An octopus has an eye on each side of its head and has very good eyesight, but an octopus cannot hear.

Octopi live on the ocean floor. They are mainly shy, solitary animals. The octopus swims by a kind of jet propulsion, spewing out water from its body to propel itself through the water.

Blue ring octopusThere are over 100 different species of octopi. The Giant Octopus is the biggest octopus and can measure up to 23 ft from arm tip to arm tip, and can weigh up to 400 pounds. The smallest octopus is the Californian octopus, which only measures about 3/8 inches long. The only poisonous octopus is the blue ring octopus.

Octopi eat small scallops, small crabs, snails, fish, and sometimes other octopi. They catch their prey with their arms, then kill it by biting it with their tough beak which looks very much like a bird's beak. After biting their prey to soften it they will then suck out the flesh. Octopi prefer to hunt mostly at night.

Octopi live in dens, spaces under rocks, crevices on the sea floor, or holes they dig under large rocks. Octopi pile rocks to block the front of their den. The den protects them from predators like moray eels. The dens they live in also provide a place for females to lay their eggs and care for them. An interesting fact about octopus females is that do not eat during the entire time that they are caring for their eggs, which can be as long as two months. Octopi can squirt black ink into the water creating a smoke-screen effect which allows them to escape from predators. Octopi also camouflage themselves by changing their skin color to blend into their background.

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