Octopus means eight legs in Greek. These creatures are just aliens due to their appearance or behavior. They are creepy and dangerous also. But, you will be surprised knowing they are also very much intelligent and well adapted. They developed some amazing skills and body transformation to survive. Come with us to check these creatures and understand them better than ever.
1. Octopus is amazing.
Octopuses are Cephalopods, invertebrate in class. They don’t have bones, and rather than tentacles they have eight arms. The arms consist of up-to 200-240 suckers each. Their eyes are situated on the top of their head. There are around 300 spices of them which is 1/3 of the total Cephalopods discovered yet and they are pretty old beings. Fossils have been found around 20 million years old.
2. Masters of disguise.
Octopuses have color pigments through out their entire body and the muscles can be controlled for different shapes also. When threatened they change their color as per the surroundings in just 2/3 of a second. They also change shapes like rough or Smooth by contracting the muscles. Sometimes they make themselves like plants or even rocks in appearance. Their arms have separate neurons which can sense light and taste any chemical changes in water. So, their arms don’t need the brain to act rather they can act by themselves. They developed such adaptation to hide themselves in danger which makes them very hard to detect, It is very common if you go to the seafloor and might looking at an Octopus without knowing that it’s an Octopus.
3. Ink master.
When camouflage is not enough they use to squirt ink which they store in ink sacks of their gills. This ink contains Tyrosinase which creates a blinding sensation and also damages the sense of smell. Mostly the ink creates a dense cloud making impossible to see in water. So, they get time to swim away. They are like Ninjas in the ocean.
Octopuses are very intelligent. Their brain consist of approximately 100 million large neurons, in contrary humans have around 500 million small neurons. They have short and long term memories. They can learn from their experience even by mimicking other Octopuses. Octopus is the only Cephalopod that use tools efficiently. It has been observed Octopuses carrying coconut shells as their mobile home, even they can remove plants from rocks to make dens, fortress or garden like structures, they have been seen to unscrew things.
In Seattle aquarium, a Giant Pacific Octopus named Billye was put to test. She did open a child proof bottle by removing the lead and got her snack in 5 minutes, really astonishing for a creature featuring such intelligence.
They prefer walking on the sea floor rather than swimming, it creates exhaustion as their heart that pumps blood to their organs stop working at time of swimming. They generally walk or glide by the slow moving current. But, they are jet powered. Yes, like other Cephalopods they have special mantles which gather water and then expel through siphons, which give them extraordinary speed in water.
6. Efficient predators.
Octopuses are highly efficient predators. They generally disguise themselves on the ocean floor and grab their prey by their arms. Their arms have suckers which are enough strong to lift up-to 16kgs. They don’t have any skeleton but, they do have a beak which can crush a turtle shell. Their saliva contains venom which paralyses the victim and liquidate the organs and muscles, which helps the octopus to drink its prey.
7. Healing capability.
Octopuses have several defensive mechanism but, when everything fails they can cut release their arms. Those arms continue to move as they are independently controllable, which distracts the predator and the Octopus can slip through. After that it can regenerate it’s arm in some weeks with same capabilities as before.
All Octopuses are venomous. They use it for hunting. But, not very effective on human body. Except the Blue ringed Octopus, It’s venom is so deadly that a full grown human can get paralyzed in minutes and death is inevitable.
9. Not only one heart.
Octopuses do have 3 hearts. One use to circulate blood through the organs and another two for the gills. Their blood is blue, because their blood is not iron based instead it is copper based protein called Hemocyanin. This copper base is more efficient than hemoglobin to transport oxygen in low temperature. But, it also affects when pH level of water gets low. Scientists are worried as ocean temperature and chemical compositions are becoming unsuitable for these creatures.
Octopuses are shy and also known as the most anti-social creatures. They live their life mostly alone. They avoid humans. Generally they are found in seafloor in disguise or resting in dens. The Blue ringed Octopuses are found in coral reefs or in swallow depths.
They do look creepy and horrifying but, the only Dumbo Octopus looks rather cute named as Opisthoteuthis Adorabilis.
12. Short life.
Octopuses do live short somewhere around 1 year. They get mature in 6-8 months and at mating season most male octopuses die due to the cannibalistic nature of the females after mating. Whereas, the females got died just after the eggs hatch.
13. Food delicacy.
In Japan and South Korea it is a delight. It is believed that eating live Octopus is good for blood circulation and sugar levels. Also eating Octopus is considered as stamina booster. It taste similar like squids, chewy in nature. So, it is very common to see people suffocating and admitted to hospitals while eating live Octopus arms.