Project Description

Common Octopus

Octopus vulgaris

Aquarium Location

Coast

Habitat

The common octopus is usually found in shallow waters under rocks in cracks of the seabed.

Range

Can be found in the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

Diet

Octopuses eat all sorts of crabs, fish and mollusks.

Fun Facts

Usually lives about 1-2 years.
Typically prefers to be alone, but are sometimes found in pairs.
Most complex brain of all invertebrates: They have long and short term memory, have been taught behaviors and can learn to problem solve.
Color cells in the skin are controlled by the nervous system and they can change their color very quickly and dramatically to blend in with their surroundings.
Contain an ink sac that shoots ink to escape from predators; the ink cloud can even look like the body of the octopus to confuse the predator even more.

Cool Adaptation

They have eight tentacles with suction discs (cups) and have very good sense of touch in the suckers. Each suction disc can have 10,000 nerve cells or neurons to help them feel and taste.

Conservation Connection

Although the common octopus is not considered to be endangered, there are several things that threaten them. This species of octopus is considered edible, and commercial fisheries for this animal do exist. Octopuses are most commonly caught in “octopus pots,” which are plastic traps that the octopus mistakes for safe shelter. Although octopuses are often hard to find in the wild because of their color changing and hiding abilities, overfishing does appear to have happened in Japan and in some other locations around the world. However, there is no special status for the conservation of this species.