Ever say to yourself, “Hmm, I think I’ll look for some décor featuring eight-armed cephalopod molluscs today”? Probably not, but it’s not quite as odd as it sounds. We’re talking about the octopus, of course. The octopus may be one of the ocean’s more mysterious creatures but along with the seahorse, sea turtle and dolphin, it is also one of the most popular sea life themes for beach home décor.
There are around 300 known species of octopus in the world’s oceans and they live in a variety of habitats. The range of the common octopus (Octopus vulgaris), for instance extends from southern England, through the Mediterranean, to Senegal in Africa.
There are many interesting attributes that set the octopus apart from other from other forms of sea life. For one, they have no skeleton or shell, which allows them to squeeze into tight spaces. When they eat, all use hard beaks–similar to that of a parrot–to consume a diet that usually consists of crabs, clams or shrimp. The octopus is also considered to be very intelligent, probably more so than other species of invertebrate, and some have even been known to use tools. Most can disperse clouds of ink or use camouflage to help them escape predators. Another strange fact: an octopus has three hearts. And while they may look scary, most are very shy; in fact only one small and rare species, the blue-ringed octopus of the tropical Pacific Ocean, has a bite that is toxic to humans. (more…)