8 Reasons to Celebrate Cephalopods

by Rachael Prokop

October 8, 2014

It’s Cephalopod Awareness Week, a time to recognize some of the oceans’ coolest creatures:squids, octopuses, cuttlefish, and nautiluses. Here are 8 reasons to celebrate:

8. Eight armsare better than two!

Unless you’re a nautilus, the only member of the cephalopod family with an exterior shell. Then you’ve got up to 90 tentacles!


BONUS: Most male cephalopods have an arm devoted to sperm delivery.

7. They’re beautiful

Seriously, look at this cuttlefish. Bright colors are often used as a warning to predators that an animal is poisonous or venomous. Many cephalopods are venomous,but most don’t carry enough venom to seriously hurt a human.


6. They’re really smart

Octopuses have been witnessed using tools, like these shells that can be assembled into a mobile shelter!

Octopus with shells

5. They’re good at blending in

Many cephalopods, like this octopus, have the amazing ability to change the color and even pattern of their skin in order to hide from predators.




4. They’re jet-powered

Most cephalopods move at least in part by shooting jets of water out of their body.

mimic octopus

3. Some cephalopods can create a “decoy” out of ink

Most cephalopods can shoot out ink to distract and disorient a predator. A few especially crafty species shoot out ink in the shape of their own bodies to trick the predator into following the ink cloud.


Source: Tree of Life

2. They don’t give up

Octopus mothers won’t leave their eggs for anything not even food. When the eggs hatch, they die.Even more amazing theoctopus mom below was observed guarding a single nest for over FOUR YEARS, presumably without ever grabbing a bite to eat.


1. They need your help

Octopuses on the slopes of Bering Sea canyons are losing their habitat to heavy fishing trawls that scrape across the slope, destroying everything in their paths.

But you can help: Click here to ask fishery managers to protect these canyons and the all the amazing creatures that live there.

Giant Pacific octopus in Pribolof Canyon, Bering Sea.

Giant Pacific octopus in Pribolof Canyon, Bering Sea.

By Rachael Prokop

Rachael is an Online Campaigner with Greenpeace USA.

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