Pacific Octopus

Adaptations, traits, and more!


Arms: Like all octopuses, the Pacific octopus has eight arms. The two rear-most arms function as "legs." They are used to push off of the ocean floor, anchor itself in one place, and crawl over rocks and debris. The other six arms are used as “arms” are expected to be used. They grab objects, feel around, and feed the octopus. Every arm contains both radial and longitudinal muscles. This muscle combination makes them very strong. The arms are able to resist a pull one hundred times the octopus’s weight, which is roughly 4,000 pounds. There are no bones in the Pacific octopus's arms, or its entire body either, which allows the arms to be very flexible. This flexibility is useful and allows the octopus to fit the arms into small crevices.

Suckers: Each arm of the Pacific octopus contains about 280 suckers. The suckers play an important role in both the octopus’s sense of touch and taste. Each sucker is believed to contain thousands of chemical receptors. The rims of the suckers are a particularly sensitive area to touch. It is expected that a blindfolded octopus could differentiate objects by sense of touch as easily as the octopus could sense an object using its sense of sight. The suckers are also able to create a suction and grip onto prey or the substrate.

Eyes: Pacific octopuses have very advanced eye structures. They contain many of the parts that human eyes do, including: the iris, the pupil, the lens, the retina, and the optic nerve. However, the pupil is not a round shape, but is a horizontal slit. When focusing, the octopus’s eye moves the lens forward and backward, instead of altering its curvature like humans. The eye is one of the most important senses to the Pacific octopus. It uses its sense of vision to choose a mate, find a den, blend in with its environment, and locate prey.