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The octopus is a mollusc (Mollusca) and belongs to the family of cephalopods. These include the cuttlefish and the squid. What they have in common is that they have eight arms.
The eight arms are most clearly visible in the red octopus (Octopus cyaneus).

The scientific name is Octopoda (literally eight-footed). Octopus is the most commonly used name. The German name is "der Krake", i.e. the masculine form. Colloquially, the female form "the octopus" is also used. And what does this have to do with the name octopus? This is because the octopus and its relatives, the cuttlefish and the squid, produce an ink-like liquid and can swim like fish. However, the octopus and its relatives are not fish. They are invertebrates.

Octopus have several characteristics to protect themselves. One is their adaptability. They can change their color in a matter of seconds and thus adapt to their surroundings. Secondly, they are mobile because they have no internal skeleton. This allows them to retreat into the narrowest crevices and holes.
Thirdly, they can swim away in a flash. According to a study by marine biologist Jun Yamamoto from the Japanese University of Hokkaido, sick people can reach a speed of 11.2 meters per second like a jet engine. Fourthly, when camouflage, hiding and fleeing are no longer enough to defend themselves against imminent danger, they have another weapon. They squirt a blackish-brown liquid into the water and at the same time flee ahead of the body using the recoil principle. The potential enemy searches the murky water for the sick person who has long since made off. Pretty clever.

The octopus is the most intelligent of the invertebrates. In addition to the brain, each of the eight arms is controlled by its own nervous system. The octopus therefore has nine brains and three hearts.
The octopus is capable of learning. In tests to find its way through a maze, it is more efficient than most mammals with a larger brain.

Paul the octopus achieved media fame when he acted as an oracle animal during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and correctly "predicted" the outcome of all the soccer matches he had predicted.
The octopus has also achieved something that is reserved for only a few. It gave its name to the James Bond 007 film Octopussy from 1983.
The reproduction of octopuses also has its own peculiarities. They simply reproduce during their lifetime. Before the actual act of reproduction, the male engages in an intense love game for the female.

With a lot of luck, this can be observed in the wild. The two octopuses do not allow themselves to be disturbed. They swim back and forth and change color.
At first you get the impression that two sick people are fighting each other. This is not the case. The male deposits sperm into the female's mantle cavity with one arm. 

The male then dies. The female then lays up to 100,000 eggs in caves, crevices or nests made of stones and guards them until the offspring hatch. During this time, the female does not eat anything - which is the reason why the female also dies afterwards. Octopuses reach an age of about 3 years. They are bottom dwellers. Their diet consists mainly of crabs, mussels, and shrimps. From time to time, they also hunt their conspecifics and fish.

Photos: Johann Vifian
Sources: Wikipedia/Coral Reef Guide.

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