The Octopus

An octopus is a cephalopod mollusc of the order Octopoda. It has two eyes and four pairs of arms and like other cephalopods, it is bilaterally symmetric. An octopus has a hard beak, with its mouth at the center point of the arms. An octopus has no internal or external skeleton (although some species have a vestigial remnant of a shell inside their mantles), allowing it to squeeze through tight places. Octopuses are among the most intelligent and behaviorally flexible of all invertebrates. All of the species of Octopus have a very short life span so they have to mature rapidly. Some have a cycle of life, reproduction, and death in less than a year. On average they won’t live more than five years. The number of eggs that can be deposited can be up to 200,000.

Octopuses inhabit many diverse regions of the ocean, including coral reefs, pelagic waters, and the ocean floor. They have numerous strategies for defending themselves against predators, including the expulsion of ink, the use of camouflage and deimatic displays, their ability to jet quickly through the water, and their ability to hide. An octopus trails its eight arms behind it as it swims. All octopuses are venomous, but only one group, the blue-ringed octopus, is known to be deadly to humans. Around 300 species are recognized, which is over one-third of the total number of known cephalopod species.