Unique And Colorful Octopus And Cuttlefish

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There are around 300 recognized octopus species. Most octopuses have no internal or external skeleton, allowing them to squeeze through tight places. An octopus has a hard beak, with its mouth at the center point of the arms. Octopuses are highly intelligent, probably the most intelligent invertebrates.

They are known to build ‘forts’ and ‘traps’ in the wild and for rearranging tanks and burying other animals alive in domestication. For this reason, they are quite notorious among aquarium operators. For defense against predators, they hide, flee quickly, expel ink, or use color-changing camouflage.

Wonderpus Octopus (Wunderpus photogenicus)

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The beautiful and colorful Wonderpus Octopus is found in shallow waters from Bali and Sulawesi north to the Philippines and east to Vanuatu. It is often confused with the similarly colored Mimic Octopus(Thaumoctopus mimicus). The white spots of Wunderpus are unique among individuals, allowing for the use of photo identification to monitor individuals in the wild.

Greater Blue-ringed Octopus (Hapalochlaena lunulata)

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The Greater Blue-ringed Octopus, unlike its southern brethren, the Blue-lined and Southern Blue-ringed octopuses that are found only in Australian waters, the range of the Greater Blue-ringed Octopus spans the tropical western Pacific Ocean. Greater Blue-ringed Octopuses can weigh between 10 and 100 grams, though the average is 55 grams.

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The blue-ringed octopus is the size of a golf ball, but its venom is powerful enough to kill humans. There is no known antidote.

Atlantic White-spotted Octopus (Octopus macropus)

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This species is known for other common names like White-spotted Octopus, Grass Octopus and Grass Scuttle. It is native to the Mediterranean Sea. A similar octopus from the Caribbean Sea has sometimes been identified as Octopus macropus. It grows to 15 cm in mantle length with the long arms exceeding 1 meter.

Southern Blue-ringed Octopus (Hapalochlaena maculosa)

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The Southern Blue-ringed Octopus, a beautifully colored octopus, is one of 3 species of blue-ringed octopuses. It is most commonly found in tidal rock pools along the south coast of Australia. An adult can grow up to 20 centimeters long and on average weighs 26 grams.

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The blue-ringed octopus is the size of a golf ball, but its venom is powerful enough to kill humans. There is no known antidote.

Big Blue Octopus (Octopus cyanea)

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The name of this octopus is misleading because its color is actually red – not blue. The Big Blue Octopus, also known as the Day Octopus and Cyane’s Octopus, can be found both the Pacific and Indian Oceans from Hawaii to the eastern coast of Africa. It grows to 16 cm in mantle length with arms to at least 80 cm.

Giant Pacific Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini)

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The Giant Pacific Octopus, the largest species of octopus, can be found in the coastal North Pacific, usually at a depth of around 65 meters (215 ft). The largest scientific record of a live individual is 71 kg or 156.5 lb. The skin of the octopus is somewhat smooth and by contracting or expanding tiny pigments, known as chromatophores, in its cells an octopus can change the color of its skin, giving it the ability to blend into the environment.

Veined Octopus or Coconut Octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus)

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The Veined Octopus or Coconut Octopus is found in tropical waters of the western Pacific Ocean. Its body grows up to 8 cm and its tentacles – 15 cm. It has typical color pattern with dark ramified lines similar to veins.

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It frequently buries itself in the sand with only its eyes sticking out. It uses any available debris to create a defensive fortress. It is especially known for using coconut shells as hiding places.

Cuttlefish

Cuttlefish, referred to as the chameleon of the sea because of their notable ability to abruptly alter their skin color at will, possess an internal structure called the cuttlebone, which is porous and composed of aragonite, to provide the cuttlefish with buoyancy. Each species has a distinct shape, size, and pattern of ridges or texture on the cuttlebone. The cuttlebone is unique to cuttlefish, one of the features contrasting them with their squid relatives. Cuttlebones are traditionally used by jewelers and silversmiths as moulds for casting small objects.

Broadclub Cuttlefish (Sepia latimanus)

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Broadclub Cuttlefish, the second largest cuttlefish species, is a brilliant performer. Its color changes nearly instantaneous and can travel over the body in waves. It can also change the texture of its skin dramatically. It can grow to 50 cm in mantle length and 10 kg in weight. It is widely distributed from the Andaman Sea, east to Fiji, and south to northern Australia.

Pfieffer’s Flamboyant Cuttlefish (Metasepia pfefferi)

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The Pfeffer’s Flamboyant Cuttlefish is a small, colorful and beautiful species of cuttlefish found in Indo-Pacific tropical waters. This cuttlefish is unique it is the only poisonous cuttlefish. It is active during the day and has been observed hunting fish and crustaceans. It employs complex and varied camouflage to stalk its prey.

Paintpot Cuttlefish (Metasepia tullbergi)

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The Paintpot Cuttlefish, not as colorful as the Flamboyant Cuttlefish but still pretty, is a small cuttlefish that lives in the seas between Japan and Hong Kong.

Australian Giant Cuttlefish (Sepia apama)

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This cuttlefish is the largest cuttlefish species in the world growing to 50 cm in mantle length and over 10.5 kg in weight and is native to Australia. During mating period, males abandon their normal cryptic coloring and set out to dazzle the females by adopting rapidly changing bright colors and striking patterns. Devious males mimic female coloring and form in order to gain access to females protected by dominant males. Death follows shortly after mating and laying of eggs that will spawn the next generation.

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