The Octopus is a marine mollusk, with 8 tentacles and a large head. They have two eyes and a small beak like mouth at the center point of their arms. Octopuses do not have a skeleton and are able to squeeze into small, tight spaces to hide from predators or to capture prey. They are a highly intelligent species and are able to adapt and change with the environment. There are over 300 species of octopus and they inhabit different aquatic environments from shallow rock pools to the ocean depths.
What do octopuses eat?
Octopuses have a varied diet depending on the environment in which they live. All octopuses have a hard, beak like mouth which is perfect for devouring their prey. They inject the prey with paralyzing saliva and then pull in apart using their sharp beak. Octopuses which are bottom dwellers eat mainly crabs and other mollusks such as whelks (type of seas snail) clams and lobsters. They will also eat sea worms (polychaete worms). Free swimming octopuses eat shrimp, fish and other octopuses. Baby octopuses will eat small marine creatures such as plankton and krill. When eating mollusks the octopus will either pry open the shell using its tentacles or drill a hole into the top of the shell with their beak and inject the soft mollusk with venom before sucking it out.
What do octopuses eat in captivity?
Octopuses are rarely kept in captivity by pet owners as they require specialized care. When kept in large aquariums, octopuses are fed diets as close as possible to that which they have in the wild. Shelled cockles, crabs, shrimp and other mollusks are given to the octopuses to eat. An octopus may attempt to eat any other marine creature that is placed into the same tank.