Wild Harris

Octopus

Link to Rocky Seabed Animals

Probably the world’s smartest invertebrate, the octopus has been proved to have a high level of intelligence. Each of the 8 arms has a single row of suckers which help it crawl around and grab hold of its prey. The ctopus is one of the few creatures capable of taking on the fearsome lobster– it will wrap itself around it, pinning the lobsters claws and legs as if tied up, and dispatch it with a    bite from its hard beak which is located in the centre of its underside. This beak is in fact the only hard part of an octopus – it can squeeze itself through the narrowest of cracks so long as the beak will fit through.

The octopus is a multi-talented animal. It has fantastic vision, thanks to the large eyes that are better designed than mammals’ eyes (the nerves exit the light sensitive cells behind the eye, rather than in front). It is an absolute master of camouflage – not only can it change its skin colour in an instant to perfectly match its background, it can also change its texture to mimic the seabed it sits upon. (its skin even changes with emotion -a scared octopus will turn white, and a captured animal will turn purple with fury!) If that wasn’t enough, it has perfected the technique of jet propulsion, zooming away on a jet of water expelled through a nozzle, and if necessary it can confuse an attacker with a cloud of black ink which acts as a smokescreen to cover its escape. Octopuses live in small caves which are often revealed by the pile of dead shells around the entrance – the leftovers thrown out after it’s eaten.

octopus.jpgOctopus    (Photo: Sue Scott)

 

The smartest invertebrate in the sea, this octopus can change noth colour and skin texture to give it perfect camouflage.

by Paul Tyler

Link to Rocky Seabed Animals