Top Ten Octopus/Squid

Top Ten Octopus/Squid

Caribbean Reef Squid

       The octopus is a cephalopod mollusc of the order Octopoda. Octopuses have two eyes and four pairs of arms, and like other cephalopods, they are bilaterally symmetric. An octopus has a hard beak, with its mouth at the center point of the arms. Octopuses have no internal or external skeleton (although some species have a vestigial remnant of a shell inside their mantles), allowing them to squeeze through tight places. Octopuses are among the most intelligent and behaviorally flexible of all invertebrates. The octopus inhabits many diverse regions of the ocean, including coral reefs, pelagic waters, and the ocean floor. They have numerous strategies for defending themselves against predators, including the expulsion of ink, the use of camouflage and deimatic displays, their ability to jet quickly through the water, and their ability to hide. An octopus trails its eight arms behind it as it swims. All octopuses are venomous, but only one group, the blue-ringed octopuses, is known to be deadly to humans. Closely related to Octopuses are Squid, which are cephalopods of the order Teuthida, comprising around 300 species. Like all other cephalopods, squid have a distinct head, bilateral symmetry, a mantle, and arms. Squid, like cuttlefish, have eight arms arranged in pairs and two, usually longer, tentacles. Squid are strong swimmers and certain species can ‘fly’ for short distances out of the water.

  1. Vampire Squid
    Vampire Squid
           The vampire squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis, lit. “vampire squid from Hell”) is a small, deep-sea cephalopod found throughout the temperate and tropical oceans of the world. Unique retractile sensory filaments justify the vampire squid’s placement in its own order: Vampyromorphida (formerly Vampyromorpha), which shares similarities with both squid and octopuses. As a phylogenetic relict it is the only known surviving member of its order, first described and originally classified as an octopus in 1903 by German teuthologist Carl Chun, but later assigned to a new order together with several extinct taxa.
  2. Blue Ringed Octupus
    Blue Ringed OctupusBlue Ringed Octupus1Blue Ringed Octupus2
           The Blue-Ringed Octopus is very small, only the size of a golf ball, but its venom is so powerful that can kill a human. Actually it carries enough poison to kill 26 adult humans within minutes, and there is no antidote. They are currently recognized as one of the world’s most venomous animals. Its painless bite may seem harmless, but the deadly neurotoxins begin working immediately resulting in muscular weakness, numbness, followed by a cessation and breathing and ultimately death. They can be found in tide pools in the Pacific Ocean, from Japan to Australia.
    Links: Top Ten Most Poisonous Animals,,
  3. Blanket Octopus

          Tremoctopus is a genus of pelagic cephalopods, containing four species that occupy surface to mid-waters in subtropical and tropical oceans. They are commonly known as blanket octopuses, in reference to the long transparent webs that connect the dorsal and dorsolateral arms of the adult females. The other arms are much shorter and lack webbing. These species exhibit an extreme degree of sexual dimorphism. Females may grow to over 2 m in length whereas the tiny males are at most a few centimeters long. The males have a specially modified third right arm which stores sperm, known as a hectocotylus. During mating, this arm detaches itself and crawls into the mantle of the female to fertilize her eggs. The male dies shortly after mating. The females carry over 100,000 tiny eggs that are attached to a sausage-shaped calcareous secretion held at the base of the dorsal arms and carried by the female until hatching. Blanket octopuses are immune to the poisonous Portuguese man o’ war, whose tentacles the male and immature females rip off and use for defensive purposes. Also, unlike many other octopuses, the blanket octopus does not use ink to intimidate potential predators. When threatened, the female unfurls her large net-like membranes that spread out and billow in the water, greatly increasing her apparent size.
  4. Colossal Squid and Giant Squid
    File:Calmarcolossal.jpgGiant SquidFile:Giant squid melb aquarium03.jpg
    The colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, from Greek mesos (middle), nychus (claw), and teuthis (squid)), sometimes called the Antarctic or giant cranch squid, is believed to be the largest squid species in terms of mass. It is the only known member of the genus Mesonychoteuthis. Though it is known from only a few specimens, current estimates put its maximum size at 12–14 m (39–46 ft) long, based on analysis of smaller and immature specimens, making it the largest known invertebrate. The giant squid (genus: Architeuthis) is a deep-ocean dwelling squid in the family Architeuthidae, represented by as many as eight species. Giant squid can grow to a tremendous size: recent estimates put the maximum size at 13 m (43 ft) for females and 10 m (33 ft) for males from caudal fin to the tip of the two long tentacles (second only to the colossal squid at an estimated 14 m (46 ft), one of the largest living organisms). The mantle is about 2 m (6.6 ft) long (more for females, less for males), and the length of the squid excluding its tentacles is about 5 m (16 ft). Claims of specimens measuring 20 m (66 ft) or more have not been scientifically documented. On September 30, 2004, researchers from the National Science Museum of Japan and the Ogasawara Whale Watching Association took the first images of a live giant squid in its natural habitat. Several of the 556 photographs were released a year later. The same team successfully filmed a live adult giant squid for the first time on December 4, 2006.
  5. Giant Pacific Octopus

           Enteroctopus dofleini, also known as the giant Pacific octopus or North Pacific giant octopus, is a large cephalopod belonging to the genus Enteroctopus. It can be found in the coastal North Pacific, usually at a depth of around 65 m (215 ft). It can, however, live in much shallower or much deeper waters. It is arguably the largest octopus species, based on a scientific record of a 71-kg (156-lb) individual weighed live. The alternative contender is the seven-arm octopus based on a 61-kg (134-lb) carcass estimated to have a live mass of 75 kg (165 lb). However, a number of questionable size records would suggest E. dofleini is the largest of all octopus species by a considerable margin.
  6. Mimic Octopus
    File:Mimic Octopus 2.jpg
           The Mimic Octopus, Thaumoctopus mimicus, is a species of octopus that has a strong ability to mimic other creatures. It grows up to 60 cm (2 feet) in length. Its normal coloring consists of brown and white stripes or spots. Living in the tropical seas of Southeast Asia, it was not discovered officially until 1998, off the coast of Sulawesi. Recently found in the great barrier reef in Northern Queensland in 2010. The octopus mimics the physical likeness and movements of more than 15 different species, including sea snakes, lionfish, flatfish, brittle stars, giant crabs, sea shells, stingrays, flounders, jellyfish, sea anemones, and mantis shrimp. It accomplishes this by contorting its body and arms, and changing color. Although all octopuses can change color and texture, and many can blend with the sea floor, appearing as rocks, the Mimic Octopus is the first octopus species ever observed to impersonate other animals. Based on observation, the Mimic Octopus may decide which animal to impersonate depending on local predators. For example, when the octopus was being attacked by damselfish, the octopus was observed to appear as a banded sea snake, a damselfish predator. The octopus impersonates the snake by turning black and yellow, burying six of its arms, and waving its other two arms in opposite directions. The Mimic Octopus is often confused with Wunderpus photogenicus, another recently discovered species. Wunderpus can be distinguished by the pattern of strong, fixed white markings on its body.
    Links: Top Ten Most Intelligent Animals,,
  7. Caribbean Reef Squid
    Caribbean Reef Squid2
    Caribbean Reef Squid3Caribbean Reef Squid4
    Links: Top Ten Reefs,,
  8. Caribbean Reef Octopus
    Caribbean Reef OctopusCaribbean Reef Octopus1
    Description: The Caribbean reef octopus (Octopus briareus) is a coral reef marine animal. It has eight long arms that vary in length and diameter. The mantle is large and chunky in comparison (up to 60 cm long). This species is difficult to describe because it changes color and texture to blend into its surroundings, using specialized skin cells known as chromatophores. Its color range is incredibly large; it can change from crimson to green, and bumpy to smooth. It weighs around 3.3 lb or 1.5 kg.
    Links: Top Ten Reefs,
  9. Vulcanoctopus hydrothermalis

           Vulcanoctopus hydrothermalis is an octopus known from deep sea hydrothermal vents. It is the single species ajudged to exist in the genus Vulcanoctopus. Only males have been found, at a maximum size of 52 mm mantle length. It has been observed feeding on the amphipod Halice hesmonectes, and possibly the crab Bythograea thermydron.
    Links: Top Ten Volcanoes,
  10. Eye Flash Squid and Sparkling Enope Squid
    File:Teuthowenia megalops (Michael Vecchione, NOAA).jpgFile:Watasenia scintillans.jpg
    Abralia veranyi is a species of squid in the family Enoploteuthidae. Common names include the eye-flash squid, Verany’s enope squid and the midwater squid. It is found in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea and it undergoes a daily vertical migration from deep waters to near the surface. The sparkling enope squid (Watasenia scintillans), also known as the firefly squid, is a species of squid in the family Enoploteuthidae. It is the sole species in the genus Watasenia.
  11. Glass Octopus and Telescope Octopus

           Vitreledonella richardi, also known as the Glass Octopus, is an incirrate octopus. It is the sole representative of the genus Vitreledonella and of the family Vitreledonellidae. Vitreledonella is a transparent, gelatinous, and almost colorless meso- to bathypelagic octopod found worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas with a mantle length (ML) of up to 11 cm and a total length of up to 45 cm in adults. The upper three pairs of arms are subequal in length; in juveniles about as long as the mantle, in adults 2–3 times ML. The fourth, ventral pair is slightly shorter. Suckers are small, widely separated, and in a single series. In males, the left arm III is hectocotylized, with a spherical vesicle near the tip, but is not detachable. Eyes are nearly rectangular in shape as seen from the side. The radula is heterodont, also known as heteroglossan, in which the middle or rhachidian tooth is each array has mutlitple cusps and the lateral teeth are unicuspid. Vitreledonella is ovoviviparous. The female broods her eggs, of which there are hundreds, within the mantle cavity. Each egg measures about 4 mm in length. Newborn larvae have a ML of approximately 2.2 mm. Amphitretus and Bolitaena are two other transparent, gelatinous pelagic incirrate octopods. Both of these genera differ from Vitreledonella in that the right third arm is hectocotylized and the radula is ctenodont with comb-like individual teeth. The Telescope Octopus (Amphitretus pelagicus) is a species of pelagic octopus found in tropical regions of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is transparent, almost colorless and has 8 arms. It is the only octopus to have tubular eyes, hence its common name.
    Links: Top Ten Transparent Animals.,
  12. Bigfin Squid

           The bigfin squids are a group of rarely seen cephalopods with a distinctive morphology. They are placed in the genus Magnapinna and family Magnapinnidae. The family is known only from larval, paralarval, and juvenile specimens, but some authorities believe the adult creature has been seen: several videos have been taken of animals nicknamed the “long-arm squid”, which appear to have a similar morphology. Since none of the adult specimens have ever been captured or sampled, it remains uncertain if they are the same genus, or only distant relatives.
  13. Glass Squid
    File:Cranchiidae sp.jpg
           The family Cranchiidae comprises the approximately 60 species of glass squid, also known as cockatoo squid, cranchiid, cranch squid, or bathyscaphoid squid. Cranchiid squid occur in surface and midwater depths of open oceans around the world. They range in mantle length from 10 cm (3.9 in) to over 3 m (9.8 ft), in the case of the colossal squid. The common name, glass squid, derives from the transparent nature of most species. Cranchiid squid spend much of their lives in partially sunlit shallow waters, where their transparency provides camouflage. They are characterised by a swollen body and short arms, which bear two rows of suckers or hooks. The third arm pair is often enlarged. Many species are bioluminescent organisms and possess light organs on the undersides of their eyes, used to cancel their shadows. Eye morphology varies widely, ranging from large and circular to telescopic and stalked. A large, fluid-filled chamber containing ammonia solution is used to aid buoyancy. This buoyancy system is unique to the family and is the source of their common name “bathyscaphoid squid”, after their resemblance to a bathyscaphe. Often the only organ that is visible through the transparent tissues is a cigar-shaped digestive gland, which is the cephalopod equivalent of a mammalian liver. This is usually held in a vertical position to reduce its silhouette and a light organ is sometimes present on the lower tip to further minimise its appearance in the water. Like most squid, the juveniles of cranchiid squid live in surface waters, descending to deeper waters as they mature. Some species live over 2 km below sea level. The body shape of many species changes drastically between growth stages, and many young examples could be confused for different species altogether.
    Links: Top Ten Transparent Animals,,
  14. Banded Piglet Squid (Helicocranchia Pfefferi)
    Banded Piglet Squid
           Researchers have recently discovered a new type of squid which looks a lot like a pig. Through their distinct look these little squids have been named as “Banded Piglet Squid”. Their scientific name is “Helicocranchia Pfefferi” and their body is shaped like a light bulb. They live fairly close to the surface of oceans at about 100-200m beneath the water surface. While they not understood well experts believe they are a slow gentle type creature with the ability to generate light.
    Links: Top Ten Unique Oceanic Animals,,
  15. Bob-Tailed Squid
    File:Bobtail squid.jpgBob-Tailed SquidFile:Sepiola atlantica.jpg
           Bobtail squid (order Sepiolida) are a group of cephalopods closely related to cuttlefish. Bobtail squid tend to have a rounder mantle than cuttlefish and have no cuttlebone. They have eight suckered arms and two tentacles and are generally quite small (typical male mantle length being between 1 and 8 cm). Sepiolids live in shallow coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean and some parts of the Indian Ocean as well as in shallow waters on the west coast of the Cape Peninsula off South Africa. Like cuttlefish, they can swim by either using the fins on their mantle or by jet propulsion. They are also known as dumpling squid (owing to their rounded mantle) or stubby squid.
    Links: Top Ten Bioluminescent Animals, Top Ten Bioluminescent Plants,,
  16. Dumbo Octupus
    Dumbo Octupus
           The octopuses of the genus Grimpoteuthis are also known as Dumbo octopuses from the ear-like fins protruding from the top of their head-like bodies, resembling the ears of Walt Disney’s flying elephant Dumbo. They are bathyal creatures, living at extreme depths of 3,000 to 4,000 m (9,800 to 13,000 ft), with some living up to 7,000 m (23,000 ft) below sea level, which is the deepest of any known octopus. They are some of the rarest of the Octopoda species. They can flush the transparent layer of their skin at will, and are pelagic animals, as with all other cirrate octopuses. The largest Dumbo octopus ever recorded was 6 ft (1.8 m) in length and weighed 13 pounds (5.9 kg), although the normal size for the various species is thought to be smaller. They hover above the sea floor, searching for polychaetes, pelagic copepods, isopods, amphipods, and other crustaceans for food. The Dumbo octopus is strange in the way it consumes food in that it swallows its prey whole, which differs from any other kind of octopus. They move by pulsing their arms, shooting water through their funnel, by waving their ear-like fins, or any combination thereof. Males and females differ in their size and sucker patterns. Dissected females have yielded eggs during different stages of development, which has led to the conclusion that females lay eggs constantly, with no distinct breeding season. Male Dumbo octopuses possess an enlarged segment on one of their arms, similar to the hectocotylus arm of other cephalopods. It is likely that this modified arm transfers masses of spermatophores into the female during copulation, as occurs in other cephalopods.
  17. Common Octopus

           The common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) is the most studied of all octopus species. Its range in the eastern Atlantic extends from the Mediterranean Sea and the southern coast of England to at least Senegal in Africa. It also occurs off the Azores, Canary Islands, and Cape Verde Islands. The species is also common in the Western Atlantic.
  18. Seven Arm Octopus

           The seven-arm octopus (Haliphron atlanticus) is one of the two largest known species of octopus and based on scientific records has a maximum estimated total length of 4 m and mass of 75 kg. The only other similarly large extant species is the giant Pacific octopus, Enteroctopus dofleini.
  19. Coconut Octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus)

    Amphioctopus marginatus, also known as the coconut octopus and veined octopus, is a medium-sized cephalopod belonging to the genus Amphioctopus. It is found in tropical waters of the western Pacific Ocean. It commonly preys upon shrimp, crabs, and clams, and displays unusual behavior, including bipedal walking and gathering and using coconut shells and seashells for shelter.
  20. Argonauts

    The argonauts (genus Argonauta, the only extant genus in the Argonautidae family) are a group of pelagic octopuses. They are also called paper nautiluses, referring to the paper-thin eggcase that females secrete. This structure lacks the gas-filled chambers present in chambered nautilus shells and is not a true cephalopod shell, but rather an evolutionary innovation unique to the genus Argonauta. It is used as a brood chamber and for trapped surface air to maintain buoyancy. Argonauts are found in tropical and subtropical waters worldwide; they live in the open ocean, i.e. they are pelagic. Like most octopuses, they have a rounded body, eight arms and no fins. However, unlike most octopuses, argonauts live close to the sea surface rather than on the seabed. Argonauta species are characterized by very large eyes and small distal webs. The funnel–mantle locking apparatus is a major diagnostic feature of this taxon. It consists of knob-like cartilages in the mantle and corresponding depressions in the funnel. Unlike the closely allied genera Ocythoe and Tremoctopus, Argonauta species lack water pores. Of its names, “argonaut” means “sailor on the Argo”; “nautilus” is derived from the Greek ναυτίλος, meaning “sailor”, because it was formerly supposed that Argonauta used their shell-secreting arms as sails when they were at the surface. The chambered nautilus was later named after the argonaut, but belongs to a different order, the Nautilida.
  21. Grimalditeuthis bonplandi, Mastigoteuthis flammea, Onychoteuthis banksii and
    File:Chiroteuthis veranyi.jpgFile:Mastigoteuthis flammea.jpgFile:Onychoteuthis banksii1.jpg
    Chiroteuthids are deep-sea squid of the family Chiroteuthidae. They are generally small to medium in size, rather soft and gelatinous, and slow moving. They are found in most temperate and tropical oceans, but are known primarily from the North Atlantic, North Pacific, and Indo-Pacific. The family is represented by approximately twelve species and four subspecies in four genera, two of which are monotypic. They are sometimes known collectively as whip-lash squid: However, this common name is also applied to the Mastigoteuthidae, which is itself sometimes treated as a subfamily (Mastigoteuthinae) of Chiroteuthidae. The monotypic genus Grimalditeuthis was once (and may still be) given its own family, Grimalditeuthidae. Generally speaking, chiroteuthids are not well represented by described specimens, because they are so often damaged during capture. Mastigoteuthis flammea is a species of whip-lash squid. The placement of this species in the genus Mastigoteuthis is questionable. Onychoteuthis banksii, the common clubhook squid, is a species of squid in the family Onychoteuthidae. It is the type species of the genus Onychoteuthis.
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