The order Octopoda includes 289 species, according to the World Animal Foundation. The word also refers specifically to animals in the genus Octopus. The word octopus comes from the Greek, októpus, which means “eight foot,” according to a Smithsonian magazine article that summarized facts in Katherine Harmon Courage’s book, “Octopus! The Most Mysterious Creature in the Sea.”
Here we collect Some Octopus Facts To Brighten Your Day
Arms Not Tentacles
Some people call their appendages tentacles, but that is incorrect; they are arms. Most octopus species have suction cups on the bottom of each arm. The arms seem to have a mind of their own. In fact, two-thirds of an octopus’ neurons are in its arms rather than its head, according to the article. That means that an octopus can focus on exploring a cave for food with one arm while another arm tries to crack open a shellfish.
Some octopuses even have warts. Two deep-sea octopuses in the Graneledone genus — G. pacifica and G. verrucosa — have skin bumps dotting their pink-hued mantles. These warty protrusions, it turns out, can be used to distinguish the two species, which have been incredibly difficult to tell apart. Scientists reporting June 7, 2017 in the journal Marine Biology Research catalogued the distribution of warts on both species, pinpointing two variables that were consistent across the individuals within a given species: distance between the warts and the tip of the mantle and the extent to which the skin bumps spread down the creature’s arms.
Excellent Sense of Touch
Octopuses have an excellent sense of touch, according to the World Animal Foundation. Their suckers have receptors that enable an octopus to taste what it is touching.
Master Escape Artists
Most octopuses — those in the suborder Incirrata (or Incirrina) — have no internal skeletons or protective shells. Their bodies are soft, enabling them to squeeze into small cracks and crevices, according to National Geographic. In April 2016, an octopus at the National Aquarium of New Zealand squeezed out of its tank and made an eight-armed dash for a drainpipe that — luckily for him — led directly to the sea.
I Can’t See You
Octopuses can also change color to hide and match their surroundings. They can turn blue, gray, pink, brown or green. The mimic octopus can also flex its body to resemble more dangerous animals, such as eels and lionfish, according to the World Animal Foundation.
They’re Walking Like a Sir
Octopuses are fast swimmers but they prefer to slowly crawl along the sea bottom. To swim, octopuses suck water into their bodies and shoot it out a tube called a siphon, according to the World Animal Foundation. This lets the octopus blast off, away from attackers.
Wanna see the magnificent coconut octopus and mimic octopus? Click here!