The octopus is a cephalopod of the order Octopoda that inhabits many diverse regions of the ocean, especially coral reefs. The term may also refer to only those creatures in the genus Octopus. In the larger sense, there are 289 different octopus species, which is over one-third the total number of cephalopod species. Octopuses are characterized by their eight arms, usually with sucker cups on them. Unlike most other cephalopods, octopuses have almost entirely soft bodies; they have neither a protective outer shell like the nautilus, nor any vestige of an internal shell or bones, like cuttlefish or squids. A beak, similar in shape to a parrot's beak, is their only hard part. This enables them to squeeze through very narrow slits between underwater rocks, which is very helpful when they are fleeing from morays or other predating fish.














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Three defensive mechanisms are typical of octopuses: ink sacs, camouflage, and autonomising limbs. Most octopuses can eject a thick blackish ink in a large cloud to aid in escaping from predators. They also have specialized skin cells both for color changing (chromatophores) and light reflection and refraction (iridophores and leucophores). They use this ability to blend into the environment to hide, as communication with other octopuses, or as a warning: the very poisonous Blue-ringed Octopus becomes bright yellow with blue rings when it is provoked. When under attack, some octopuses can detach and autonomise their limbs, in a similar manner to skinks and other lizards. The crawling arm serves as a distraction to would-be predators; this ability is also used in mating.

Above Images Come From The National Undersea Research Program




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