Marine Biology

The Eating Habits of Octopuses



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Monster of the deep, it is anti-social, lurking in rocky crevices, it lives and travels alone, its hideout marked by shells and fragments of its victims. The octopus with its eight arms, round body and very distinct eyes is one of the most intelligent and resourceful creatures of the ocean.

The octopus, a carnivorous marine mollusk, will eat almost anything it catches although it mainly preys on crabs and bivalve mollusks. Unlike other animals of its class, the octopus can see object which allows them to hunt by sight. Octopus can obtain its prey in different manners; they may lay in wait or go out and search for food. They often remain in their lair until an innocent victim comes into their range of vision. The octopus may also hunt its prey by crawling over and exploring the rocks with the tips of its arms. An octopus may lure its prey by wiggling its arm like a worm, or they may surge forward and pounce on an unsuspecting victim.

The arms of an octopus are lined with two rows of fleshy suckers. These suction cups not only assist them in moving but also aid in the capture of prey. They have touch sensors and chemical receptors, and can check their catch allowing them to discard anything that feels or tastes wrong. The octopus uses its arms to rip apart its prey and to pull the prey to its mouth. The mouth of an octopus is located underneath the animal in the center of the arms, and is similar to the beak of a parrot. The octopus has a tongue covered in small teeth that it uses to draw food into its mouth. Once inside the mouth, the octopus can paralyze its victim with a venomous shot from its salivary glands.

One of the most fascinating aspects of their eating habits is that an octopus will at times "dine in." They will catch several food items before returning to their lair to feed, and then discard the empty shells outside the entrance.

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