Category: Squid & Octopus

Underwater Fact 152

The Veined Octopus or Coconut Octopus is the only invertebrate known to use tools, and one of only two octopuses known to exhibit bipedal behaviour by “walking” on two of its legs.

Coconut octopus in Lembeh   © Marco Carnovale

Originally discovered in 1964, Amphioctopus marginatus lives in the tropical waters of the western Pacific Ocean.
The species is commonly known as Veined Octopus, named after the distinct dark brown lines that branch over the mantle and down the arms of the animal. The edges of their arms are often darkened in contrast to the white-blue suckers.

Coconut Octopus   © franklin tom

Another common name for these molluscs is Coconut Octopus, which relates to a very peculiar and interesting behaviour of the species: it carries coconut shells and clam shells across the ocean floor and uses them to build fortresses.

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Underwater Fact 147

One look at a vampire squid, and you’d think it was the product of a cheesy horror/sci-fi movie. Vampyroteuthis infernalis (meaning “vampire squid from hell”) is the sole living member in the Order Vampyromorphida, and shares characteristics of both octopuses (Order Octopoda) and squids (Order Teuthida).

Vampire Squid   © National Geographic

This species first appeared around 300 million years ago and has changed very little since then, making it a living fossil that may represent an ancestral line between octopuses and squids.
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Underwater Fact 146

Octopuses have the largest brains of any invertebrate.

Common Octopus   © ARKive

The fact that these creatures, whose ancestors diverged from the lineage that would lead to ours roughly 500 to 700 million years ago, have developed intelligence, emotions, and individual personalities is challenging our understanding of consciousness itself.

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Underwater Fact 136

Cephalopods are incredibly evolved creatures: The Giant Squid has three hearts that pump blue blood. Food travels through its brain before reaching the stomach and they utilise floating bones to detect gravitation for orientation in the dark.

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Underwater Fact 128

Cuttlefish are known as masters of camouflage because they can change skin colours and textures in an instant to blend into the surrounding environment. They do it so well, it is almost impossible to believe that these animals themselves are colour-blind.

Kings of Camouflage   © Civil Digital

Cephalopods have huge eyes, and much of their brain is dedicated to processing visual information. They use this information to control their disguises through a dense network of nerves running from the brain to the skin.
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Underwater Fact 115

A species that is actually benefiting from climate change with its geographic range expanding: the Bigfin Reef Squid.

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Underwater Fact 109

Cannibalistic Cephalopods can be a real danger to each other. That’s why the common male octopus has a special “arm” for mating called a hectocotylus which is used to maintain a safe breeding distance from his partner.
But there is one species of octopus that mates in a completely different and unusual way.

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When a female Blanket Octopus is threatened, it unfurls the beautiful scarf-like webbing between its arms, making the animal appear large, intimidating and creepy to potential predators.

Blanket octopus   © Creepy Animals

Blanket Octopuses are found throughout the world’s tropical and sub-tropical oceans, from the surface to moderate depths. This unusual species is pelagic, living life out in the open ocean with no need for coasts or the sea floor.

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Underwater Fact 89

Firefly Squids grow only 8cm long but attract a lot of attention when they glow in the dark.

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