Deep Sea Octopus
Common Name: Octopus
Scientific Name: Octopus vulgaris (Common octopus)
are characterized by their eight arms (as distinct from the
tentacles found in squid and cuttlefish), usually bearing
suction cups. These arms are a type of muscular hydrostat.
Unlike most other cephalopods, the majority of octopuses -
those in the suborder most commonly known, Incirrina
- have almost entirely soft bodies with no internal skeleton.
Range & Habitat
octopus is found from the southern North Sea
down to South Africa. It also occurs in the Mediterranean.
It reaches the north-eastern extreme of its range in Britain
where it is found only around the coasts of the south and
occurs along rocky coasts in the shallow sublittoral zone.
Octopus in nature
have a relatively short life expectancy, and some species
live for as little as six months. Larger species, such as
the North Pacific Giant Octopus,
may live for up to five years under suitable circumstances.
have three hearts. Two pump blood through each of the two
gills, while the third pumps blood through the body. Octopus
blood contains the copper-rich protein hemocyanin for transporting
oxygen. Although less efficient under normal conditions than
the iron-rich hemoglobin of vertebrates, in cold conditions
with low oxygen pressure, hemocyanin oxygen transportation
is more efficient than hemoglobin oxygen transportation.
are highly intelligent, probably more intelligent than any
other order of invertebrates.An octopus has a highly complex
nervous system, only part of which is localized in its brain.
Two-thirds of an octopus's neurons are found in the nerve
cords of its arms, which have a remarkable amount of autonomy.
Octopus arms show a wide variety of complex reflex actions
arising on at least three different levels of the nervous
system. Some octopuses, such as the Mimic
Octopus, will move their arms in ways that emulate
the movements of other sea creatures.
octopuses reproduce, males use a specialized arm called a
hectocotylus to insert spermatophores
(packets of sperm) into the female's mantle cavity. The hectocotylus
in benthic octopuses is usually the third right arm. Males
die within a few months after mating. In some species, the
female octopus can keep the sperm alive inside her for weeks
until her eggs are mature. After they have been fertilized,
the female lays about 200,000 eggs.The female does not eat
during the roughly one-month period spent taking care of the