The cephalopods (meaning ‘head-footed) are a group of molluscs that contain the octopuses, squid and cuttlefish, and are probably the most intelligent of all invertebrates. They have well-developed heads, with large complex eyes and mouths that feature beak-like jaws. All octopuses have eight tentacle-like arms; indeed ‘octopus’ derives from the Greek for 'eight-footed'. The common octopus usually measures around 60 centimetres in length, but it can grow up to 1 metre.It is able to change its colour depending on its mood and situation, but individuals are usually greyish-yellow or brownish-green with extensive mottling. They are often very well camouflaged. The body is warty, and the thick arms bear two rows of suckers.
The octopus spends much of its solitary life in a den, leaving at night to hunt. For reasons not clearly understood, it generally likes to search for new real estate every week or two. Octopus dens are usually under a rock or in a crevice, and the animal has even been known to take up residence inside an old, discarded bottle on the sea floor.
When it does venture out of its den, the octopus uses one of several methods to get around. The preferred method of locomotion for many octopuses is a form of walking. Rows of suckers on the underside of each arm enable the octopus to move itself forward along the sea floor. Because its arms are highly sensitive -- each sucker has up to 10,000 neurons -- the octopus can also learn a lot about its surroundings this way, and it may even chance upon a tasty meal.
At the ends of the arms of Octopus are suction cups. They contain sensors that allow them to taste their food. These animals are very particular about the overall taste of their food. They will pass up a meal that is readily available if they don’t care for the way it tastes. This will occur even if they are very desperate for food in order to survive.
They have a very strong and powerful beak on their mouths that they use to get prey and to rip them apart. They will swallow chunks of food whole. They mainly consume mollusks and crustaceans. They are also known to eat various types of fish and snails. Sometimes they will also feed upon smaller species of Octopus that are around them when they can’t find enough other food sources for survival.
Depending on the species of Octopus, mating can occur from a couple of months of age or when they are several years old. Depending on the type of species there may be some courting and ritual going on before the actual mating occurs. With most of the species though it is more a matter of convenience than anything else. They do develop an instinctive urge to mate as the age of maturity arrives.
Octopus mating is a one time thing for just about all of the species. The males often die within a couple of months after they have found a mate. The females often die shortly after they are able to lay their eggs. This is a very peculiar pattern of life and death for these creatures that researchers continue to look into.
Due to the asocial behavior of all octopuses, they are spread throughout a vast amount of ocean area. Because of this, very little is known about octopus populations, so it is hard to determine if they are being threatened. However, in general, octopuses are not threatened and therefore do not need any sort of protection from animal conservation committees. They are, however, unable to live in polluted waters, which only increase in dirtiness as time goes on.
This also can be an indication of their food source and how selective or adaptive an octopus can be to the depletion of mollusks or crustaceans. Octopuses are not particularly picky eaters, so if one food type is depleted, they are able to find another quite easily. Also, they do not have very many active predators. They have great defense systems that make them undesirable food, and their predators (sharks and eels, mostly) are able to more easily eat other animals.
Their conservation status may also be aided by the fact that octopuses are really only territorial during mating season. Otherwise, they usually avoid danger, unless driven by any sense of curiosity. Although they return to familiar places, octopuses do not have a true home. Because of this, our roaming octopus friends are able to avoid disasters in certain areas as needed.
Humans of many cultures eat Octopus. The arms and sometimes other body parts are prepared in various ways.
Kulhi boava is a Maldivian delicacy made ofOctopus Arms braised in Curry leaves, chili, garlic, cloves, onion, pepper, and Coconut oil or vegetable oil.