Common Octopus Octopus vulgaris

Common Octopus
Common Octopus
Octopuses are intelligent molluscs capable of communication, learning and tool use. They are cephalopods with eight legs or tentacles. The Common Octopus is native to the eastern and western Atlantic coasts, in the eastern Atlantic from the UK to southern Africa including the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic islands.
Common Octopus
Common Octopus
Common Octopus
Each tentacle has strong "suction cups" along it, allowing the octopus to cling on tightly or manipulate objects. The Common Octopus grows to 25cm (10 inches) head/body size and about a metre legspan. Prey is mainly crabs, lobsters and bivalve molluscs (eg. clams, mussels) - it has a sharp, strong beak to crush shells - but includes fish and other octopuses, even mate cannabalism.
Common Octopus
Common Octopus
Common Octopus
Hunting is mainly nocturnal. Octopuses, like other cephalopods, can rapidly change their colour, texture and shape to match their surroundings for camouflage from prey or predators. They can also change their shape to squeeze through tiny holes or crevices that are significantly smaller than their apparent size (they can escape capture or steal from crab-/lobsterpots this way).
Common Octopus
Common Octopus
Common Octopus
They swim fast by jet propulsion with their tentacles trailing. The main visual difference between octopus and squid is the former's rounded head/body shape and the latter's pointed end.
Common Octopus
Common Octopus
Common Octopus
In addition to changeable camouflage and shape shifting, they can spray ink to hide their getaway and, if caught, can detach a limb. They have 3 hearts pumping blue, copper-rich blood. They perform well in human-set intelligence tests, facial recognition and mazes (and can unscrew bottles/jars). Their main threat is overfishing by trawling.