5 Reasons why we should love Octopuses
Octopuses are one of the most interesting sea creatures. There are plenty of reasons to celebrate these crazy creatures. Here are 5 reasons we love octopuses:
They’re so pretty
Almost all cephalopods change colors. They can change their color and texture of the skin to blend with environment and become invisible. They use this skill for mating, communication, and disguise. Sometimes they even change patterns. Here’s the crazy part, though: most cephalopods themselves are probably color-blind. They have special cells called iridophores that act as mirrors and allow them to reflect the colors in their environment. As if this weren’t enough to disguise themselves, some cephalopods use their wobbly bodies to their advantage in taking on different shapes, blending in with sandy ocean floors or knobby coral reefs.
Variety in size and shape
The Giant Pacific Octopus lives in the coastal waters off of British Columbia and is the largest octopus in the world. The largest one caught weighed 600 pounds and its tentacles spanned 33 feet! By contrast, the world’s smallest octopus (Octopus wolfi) weighs less than a gram and could easily perch on the end of your finger.
Octopuses are among the most intelligent species in the animal kingdom, some experts consider the octopus to be the world’s most intelligent animal, it gives them an edge when it comes to survival. The coconut octopus, for example can stroll around on two legs to carry objects like coconut shells that they use to build defences where they live. It’s a great example of tool use in an invertebrate.
They are vital to the ecosystem.
Octopuses and other cephalopods play a crucial role in food webs, acting as both major predators and prey. Octopuses eat fish, crabs and molluscs, whilst providing an important food source for many sharks, eels, and dolphins.
They are useful
For decades, scientists have used cephalopod axons (the part of a nerve cell that transmits messages away from the cell body) for neurological study. The axons of Loligo pealeii are big enough to be seen without a microscope and are similar to those found in humans. Researchers hope to apply their findings to human diseases and disorders that affect the brain.