7 Jun 2011

What's squishy and crawls and swims?

Hi there! Since the theme of this year's World Oceans Day is Youth, I decided to join in the fun because kids and I have always gotten along! Indeed, they always seem to be really excited to meet me whenever they get the chance...

Let's see how long it takes you to guess who I am? ;o)
  • I'm an invertebrate - that means I don't have a skeleton!
  • Like most oceanic inhabitants (except for those pesky mammals) I breathe by filtering seawater through my gills. 
  • I can crawl and I can swim.
  • I live on the ocean floor, in dens under piles of rocks (that I either find or clear for myself), and I block the entrance with bits of shells and other rocks so it's hard for you to find me.
  • I take up a lot of space, and yet I can squeeze myself through impossibly small holes!
  • I have 3 hearts! They pump blue blood throughout my body. 
  • Someday I'll die for my offspring (if I'm a male then I'll die shortly after I mate, if I'm a female then for the couple of months it takes my eggs to hatch I won't leave them alone for a moment and will die soon after).
  • I have a big head with a pretty decent brain (I excel at memory tests and puzzle solving. Good luck keeping me locked up in a tank, I'm a regular Houdini!).
  • My eyesight's pretty good thanks to my two big eyes, and I have a great sense of touch and taste. But I'm deaf!
  • I have a beak which allows me to kill my prey (crabs, scallops, snails, fish, turtles...) by biting it.
  • You know what they say about the best defence being a good attack? HA! Not for me! In my world the best defence is invisibility! So I'm a pro when it comes to camouflage, thanks to thousands of pigmented cells called cromatophores in my skin I can change my colouring to match my environment.  Good luck spotting me! ;o)
  • If you do happen to spot me and come too close for comfort I'll disappear in the blink of an eye (yours not mine) and leave you blinded by a dark cloud...
  • My cousins have 10 legs (or arms, your call!) while I've only got 8, and when we grab hold of something we don't easily let go! But that's not all they're good for, my legs/arms help me with eating, moving, hunting, tasting and mating. Check out our fabulous suction cups:

Who am I?

So, how'd you do? Have you figured me out yet? C'mon! That last clue was EASY!!! Let me help: my number of legs is what gives me my name! The ancient Greeks called me ὀκτάπους (oktapous) which means "eight-footed". *hint* *hint*

I'm a mollusc.
         I'm a cephalopod.
                  I'm an..................


Want to see how I'm put together?

Can you spot my siphon sticking out in this picture?

I don't know how I'd survive without it! I lets me squirt water out and propel me along either slowly or quickly (depends on how fast I squeeze), and if I'm in trouble that's where my jet of defensive ink will come out of!

I particularly enjoy this video, showing off just how smart I am! ;o)

You've probably heard of my famous German cousin Paul, right? The media made quite a fuss about him last year... I really don't get what the big deal is about opening a box and eating a mussel... let me at it and I'm sure I could open it twice as fast as him! And any football fan worth his salt knew Spain was destined to win the World Cup!!! ;o) Ahhh... but the poor fellow has moved on and can no longer defend himself so I guess I'd better let him be. He did a lot for octopus rights and he will be sorely missed.

Well, it's time for me to sign off and let you get back to enjoying World Oceans Day! I'll be sea-ing you! ;o)

Do you want to know more about me and my family?
Read about octopus legends
Come meet the largest member of my family, the Giant Pacific Octopus!
and of course there's always Wikipedia.

This post is part of the 2011 Oceanic Blog-A-Thon  and the World Oceans Day Beach Party over at Shellbelle's Tiki Hut! Come join us in celebrating World Oceans Day!!! :o)


  1. Cris!!!
    what a wonderfully delightfully intersting Post!!!!
    loved it!
    and what an outstanding presentation!!
    I guessed not long after starting the hints!
    see you later with my post!!!
    warmest hugs..

  2. Cris, this is wonderful and so informative! I LOVE the video of the octopus finding its way through the maze. They are incredible!

    If you remember, I save a few during an extreme low tide in Sanibel last November. My friend Pam was with me that day, but just a few months later she captured them hatching on video and with her camera. You can see it here:


    Be sure to click on the photo of the eggs hatching to enlarge it, it is gorgeous!

    Happy World Oceans Day my friend and thanks for hosting the Oceanic Blog-A-Thon for the third year!

    I also want to thank you for always posting and teaching about the ocean, you are a true Ambassador of the Sea!

  3. Good for you Loui! :o)

    Rhonda, you're making me blush! And thank you for that link, was amazing to see that octopus and the eggs hatching!!! :D


Hey there! Yes you! The quiet one in the back... I'd love it if you hung out for a bit and shared your thoughts!

I might stop by your place with an answer, but I'm more likely to reply right here so click on "email follow up comments" if you'd like to see what I and others have to say and come continue the conversation! ;o)