How deep can octopuses swim

Octopus and squid

Characteristics

What do octopuses or squids look like?

You can actually recognize octopuses or squids at a glance: They consist of a sack-shaped body, two large eyes and many long arms. And that is exactly the question: How many arms do you have now - eight or ten? That depends on whether it's an octopus or an octopus.

The scientific name of both reveals it: Octobrachia means eight-armed. So octopuses have eight tentacles. The order of the squid, on the other hand, is called Decabrachia, so they have ten arms - eight shorter and two long, which serve as special tentacles.

These two long tentacles can be curled up and withdrawn so that it sometimes looks like they only have eight arms.

The body of cuttlefish and octopus has a very similar structure: the elongated oval coat envelops all internal organs, then comes the head with the large eyes and finally the tentacles. The tentacles of octopuses are up to one meter long and have suction cups that are arranged in two rows.

Depending on how big an octopus is, it has shorter or longer tentacles. And squids can be of different sizes depending on the species. While the common squid only grows up to 65 centimeters (the tentacles measure about 30 cm), there are giant squids in the deep sea that are several meters tall and have huge tentacles.

Octopuses and squids have neither a shell, nor bones, nor cartilage. So they are very soft and supple. Remains of a shell can only be found inside her body:

In octopuses, these are two flexible rod-shaped remains of pods; in octopuses, they are a white, elongated-oval structure, the so-called Schulp.

Usually octopuses and squids are light or dark brown in color and the skin has a marbled pattern.

But they can change their color in a flash and show whether they are aggressive, angry or excited.

They also change their color and the pattern of their skin during the mating season. In addition, they can adapt perfectly to the underground and make them invisible to enemies.

Where do octopuses or squids live?

The common octopus lives in the Mediterranean, in the Atlantic from Africa to Norway and in the North Sea.

Squids only live in seas where there is enough salt. That is why they do not occur in the Baltic Sea or the Black Sea.

Octopuses are mostly found on the seabed down to a depth of 200 meters and on rocky coasts. They crawl across the ground or walk with their tentacles as if on stilts. They like to hide in crevices in the rock.

Squids swim both close below sea level and at several thousand meters on the sea floor.

What species of octopus or squid are there?

There are around 200 different species of octopus and more than 500 species of octopus in the world.

The best known representative of the octopus is the common octopus.

There are even very poisonous species, such as the blue-ringed octopus. He lives in the sea around Australia and Southeast Asia.

How old do octopuses or squids get?

It is not known exactly how old an octopus or squid can get. Probably only about two years.

behavior

How do octopuses or squids live?

One of the best-known representatives of the cephalopods is the common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) - whose behavior is described here:

Octopuses are real loners. They like to hide in crevices and caves.

Because they can slip through the tightest spaces with their soft bodies, they sometimes retreat into an empty beverage can on the ocean floor.

If you can't find a place to hide, use your tentacles to pile up a wall of stones around you.

Octopuses sit most of the time in their caves and lurk there for their prey, which they then grab with their tentacles from an ambush at lightning speed and overwhelm it.

Octopuses often reveal their hiding places because the remains of the shells of their prey are lying around their cave.

Octopuses are among the most fascinating creatures in the seas: although they belong to a very ancient and pristine group of animals (for example, they are quite closely related to snails and mussels), they are very intelligent.

They can also see almost as well as we can: Allegedly, octopuses kept in aquariums can remember the faces of their keepers.

Researchers have found that octopuses have very well developed nervous systems and excellent memories.

You can memorize colors and shapes and even distinguish them from one another.

For swimming, octopuses press the breath water out of the body and use the power of the return flow. So they can also flee from enemies quickly.

But they have also developed a nifty technique: when things get really dangerous, octopuses expel an ink-like liquid.

Now, firstly, the enemy can no longer see, and secondly, the ink numbs the pursuer's sense of smell. By the time he can smell and see properly again, the octopus has long been up and away.

Friends and enemies of the octopus or squid

The Mediterranean moray eel, conger eel, sharks and some species of dolphins are the octopuses' greatest enemies.

How do octopuses or squids reproduce?

Octopuses only mate once in their short lives - and that is the only time these solitary animals seek company.

Usually the males fight bitterly for a female. If it then comes to mating, both sit far away from each other. Only the so-called copulation arm of the male reaches over to the female. This arm contracts in a wave-like manner, and so the seed pods are released into the sexual opening of the female. Then the male dies.

Octopus mothers take good care of their brood. After they have laid up to 150,000 eggs in stone nests, they guard their offspring without a break. They fan the eggs with fresh water to breathe, keep them clean and protect them from enemies. The female stays with her clutch for a whole month. During this time it does not eat any food. When the young octopuses hatch, the female dies.

The little octopuses are now left to their own devices. They spend the first two months in open water. Many fall prey to hungry enemies. Only when they are bigger do they look for a safe hiding place on the ground.

How do octopuses or squids hunt?

Octopuses prey on all marine animals that can overwhelm them. They grab the prey with their tentacles, hold it tight with their many suction cups and pull it to their mouths. If the prey has a solid shell - like mussels and crabs - it is cracked with the octopus' powerful horned beak.

The octopuses then inject digestive juice into the prey. This juice dissolves the prey; the pulp is then absorbed.

maintenance

What do octopuses or squids eat?

One of the best-known representatives of the cephalopods is the common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) - whose behavior is described here:

Octopuses primarily eat crabs, clams, and crabs. Every now and then they even hunt other octopuses or fish.

They even set up proper storage facilities by collecting prey in their hiding places and only eating them later.

In aquariums they are supplied with fish, shrimp, mussels and also frozen food.

So that the intelligent animals don't get too bored in their enclosure, the food is often given to them in different containers that they have to open themselves - no problem for the clever octopuses!

Keeping octopuses or squids

Octopuses are kept in many marine aquariums. There you can watch these fascinating animals very well. Many even become really tame.

For the octopus to feel good, the water temperature in the aquarium must be below 20 ° C.

In no case should you forget to cover the aquarium with a heavy glass plate: octopuses are quite curious and can easily lift a light lid to explore the area.