Thursday, May 9, 2013

Amazing Animal Profile: Octopus

Many of you may know Octopus as calamari, yet it's talents far exceed a seafood dish. The octopus has several defense mechanisms including, expulsion of ink, deimatic behavior (any pattern of threatening of startling behavior such as suddenly displaying eyespots), ability to jet quickly through the water, ability to hide and camouflage. Check out the octopus blending into the algae! I would never have guessed it was there!

Octopus weigh on average 110 pounds (50kg) and measure 16 feet (5 meters) from the tip of one arm to the tip of the opposite arm. One was recorded at an astonishing 600 pounds (272kg) and measured 30 feet (9.1 meters).  If an octopus looses an arm, it is capable of growing it back.

There are 300 species of octopus. The octopus lives in all of the world's oceans, but most commonly found in tropical and temperate waters. The common octopus is considered to be the most intelligent of all invertebrates. Giant Pacific Octopus are also very intelligent, they can mimick other creatures, open jars and solve mazes in labs.

Octopi can live as little as 6 months, but the average life span is 3-5 years. Reproduction is the main cause of death. Males live only a few months after mating and females die shortly after their eggs hatch. Female octopus fail to eat in the month following the hatch of their eggs, eventually dying of starvation.

For an incredible, short video on octopus camouflage and more miraculous under the sea visuals, watch this TED talk here.

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