Next time you look out over the ocean, think about the amazing things that these special sea creatures are doing!
Everyone knows that octopuses have eight arms. But here are eight more fun facts!
1. Octopuses are really smart. Researchers have observed them solving problems like navigating through a maze, taking objects apart and even opening jars!
2. They are really nimble. A 50 pound octopus can squeeze through a two inch space! Their bodies are 90% muscle.
3. Octopuses have NINE brains, and big ones at that -- at least for invertebrates (animals without bones). One brain controls their body and each arm has a “mind of its own"! In fact, Octopuses can open and eat a clam with one arm while checking out a cave for more edibles with another!
4. Octopuses have three hearts. Even so, they can be very mean to each other. Unlike gregarious animals like dolphins, octopuses see their own kind as competition, and, very often, food. It is not a big deal for them to eat each other!
5. Male octopuses have big problems: They want to mate to ensure a new generation, but females are often larger (and hungrier), so there's a constant risk that the male will be strangled by the female and eaten instead. And, even if he is successful at mating, he wanders off to DIE shortly thereafter anyway!
Octopuses are great mothers, though. Females can lay up to 400,000 eggs and aggressively care for ALL of them. So much so that she doesn't take the time to hunt and eat until the eggs hatch.
6. Octopus ink doesn't just hide the animal, it is also toxic. In fact, it is so toxic that if the octopus can't move away from its own ink cloud quick enough, it could be fatal! Octopus ink, though, is not toxic to humans.
7. An octopus will make itself at home wherever it can, from a bottle to a shipwreck. They even decorate their homes with shells and shiny objects! These are known as "octopuses' gardens" and yes, that inspired the Beatles song of the same name.
8. Octopuses? Octopi? Just what is the proper term when you have more than one octopus? Octopi is not totally incorrect but scientists tend to favor 'octopuses.'
(And PS, when you are eating fried calamari...that is NOT octopus, lol, it's squid!)
For more info about our amazing ocean from the NJ Sea Grant Consortium, CLICK HERE!