|Octopus image shown here: by Noel Feans|
An octopus’s first instinct when confronted by a threat is to hide, but if you continue to pester one you might find that these slimy-looking underwater animals are a lot tougher than they look. After millions of years of encountering daily danger, the octopus has evolved to deal with threats as efficiently and effectively as possible. Octopuses can put up great fights, but they are not mean animals. In reality they are some of the kindest and sweetest animals in the world. New studies have shown that they have individual personalities and some have developed friendships with their human caretakers. Even though they prefer to hide when danger is present, don’t think that they are wimps. If you ever provoke an octopus, then you’re not going to get off easy. Below are five reasons why you don’t want to pick a fight with an angry octopus.
5 Cool Octopus Facts: Brains! Tentacles! Suckers! Camo! Giant!
- Octopuses are highly intelligent and are one of the only animals to demonstrate tool use. In fact, they are the only invertebrates (animals without a backbone) to use tools. Octopuses also have highly advanced short-term and long-term memories that help them recognize environmental landmarks, distinguish between shapes and patterns, and change strategies to solve problems.
- Despite not having any bones an octopus is a very strong animal. The largest species can grow up to 10 feet in length and weigh over 150 pounds. Some have even been known to capture and kill sharks. If you ever swim near an octopus, then you might find that it is bigger than you are!
- Each of an octopus’s eight arms is covered with dozens of small suction cups (or suckers). These suction cups can latch onto objects with more than a quarter ton of force. An octopus can fold its suction cups in half and use them like you use your thumb and forefinger to pick up objects. You only have two, but an octopus has hundreds.
- Camouflage is second nature for an octopus. They can change the color, texture, and shape of their bodies to make themselves invisible to predators. Common disguises include “becoming” a rock or a part of algae. Some species of octopus can even mimic other animals by taking on the appearance of eels and lion fish.
- While all species are venomous, only one species, the blue-ringed octopus, is deadly to humans. When its bright blue rings appear to pulsate, you know that it is angry, and you better swim away – fast.