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Octopuses

The Common Octopus (Octopus vulgaris) is a cephalopod mollusc in the order of Octopoda. This makes them related to clams, snails and squids. Common octopuses have a huge bulbous head, eight tentacles, each with many suction pads, and their mouth is located where their tentacles intersect. Octopuses survive in the wild by hiding in spaces under rocks, in sea floor crevasses, and holes that they have dug. They contain pigment cells and specialized muscles in which they use to instantaneously blend in with their surroundings, using camouflage to avoid predators. When in danger, octopuses can spray a cloud of dark ink, as well as inflicting a poisonous bite. The Common Octopus uses its beak to crush the shells of its prey and to satisfy its cannibalistic diet. After breaking through the shell, octopuses will secrete a toxin that paralyses their prey. They eat small crabs, clams, snails and other octopuses, most of which come from the same order (Octopoda). Octopuses have very interesting mating habits. The male octopus either injects a mating arm called the hectocotylus into the female oviduct (a tube connected to the ovaries) or it breaks off the arm and the female will keep it until it lays eggs, where it uses it to fertilize them. The hectocotylus is generally longer than other arms, is normally the 3rd arm from the right and contains many rows or packages of sperm. Young octopuses grow at a rapid rate, increasing its weight by 5% everyday. At the end of its life, it will be a staggering third of all the food it has eaten throughout its life. Sharks and large fish are common predators of the octopus, but are normally warded off by octopuses defensive techniques. Octopuses can sense sound, but are harmed by excessive noise caused by drilling, ship motors and other industrial activity. Octopuses are amazing creatures, they are also very cunning with many tricks up their sleeves. They are one of Mother Natures best creations.

References
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Amazing Facts to Blow Your Mind Pt. 2 Youtube. 2013. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKZStlBECHo. [Accessed 12 October 2013]

Common Octopuses, Common Octopus Pictures, Common Opctopus Facts National Geographic. 2013. [ONLINE] Available at: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com.au/animals/invertebrates/common-octopus/. [Accessed 12 October 2013]

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