Exploring the incredibly intelligent resident of the ocean
If you were to examine all the Octopuses (name comes from the Greek word, októpus, meaning “eight foot) in the sea, you would be surprised to find that some of them have fewer than eight tentacles – perhaps five or six, in which case they should be called ‘Pentopus’ or ‘Hexopus’. This is because, when under stress, they have a tendency to chew up some of their arms! Over a period of time, they regrow the tentacles.
Among the various marine creatures, octopuses have always been of great interest to wildlife lovers, owing to its various strategies for survival. Here are some bizarre and unique things about this intriguing creature:
- We are all familiar with its most effective tool for self-defence – camouflage. It can blend with its surroundings with such perfection that it even surpasses the chameleon in this ability.
- Each one of the octopus’ tentacles operates independently of its body and yet they do not get tied up in knots. It is still to be found out how this happens.
- The suckers on an octopus’ tentacles can stick to any surface except its own skin. Amazing, isn’t it?
- Did you know that when an octopus is really hungry, it will not hesitate to eat a younger octopus of its own species?
- And of course, another tool for self-defence, which it shares with cuttlefish and squid, is the ability to squirt black ink and confuse its enemy or a potential attacker, giving the octopus time to swim away.
These and many other such unique features of this well-equipped and well-armed creature of the sea explain its survival in our oceans since eons.
For more amusing facts about this intelligent being, read the story ‘Octopuses in Action’ in the author’s book, Odyssey in the Oceans.
Cover Pic: Octopuses in Action
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