The prey of the Octopus
Continue the video series on the Octopus and its behavior. We are on a bed of rock and debris at a depth of about 52 meters. Exploring the seabed we encountered an octopus at the entrance to its hole. We became aware of its presence thanks to the bone of a fish left right nearby.
The octopus is an excellent predator and thanks to its qualities: intelligence, cunning and mimicry it is able to hunt even larger prey than itself. In this case it is difficult to understand what his prey was, since there is practically only the fishbone left! It can only be inferred that it was a fairly large fish, at least equal to the size of the octopus itself.
Once the prey has been captured and wrapped in tentacles, the octopus usually takes its capture near its den or in any case in a place where it can devour it with complete calm. Thanks to its mouth, practically a powerful and sharp “beak” (rostrum), the octopus mince and pulp its meal in a few minutes. However, octopuses only use this weapon to get food and quickly eat their meal.
They almost never use the rostrum to defend themselves and to escape from a predator, having much more effective weapons such as camouflage and the ink they use to confuse and distract predators and then escape calmly.
Common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) is a mollusc belonging to the class Cephalopoda. Octopus vulgaris is the most studied of all octopus species. It is cosmopolitan, that is, a global species, which ranges from the eastern Atlantic, extends from the Mediterranean Sea and the southern coast of England, to the southern coast of South Africa. It also occurs off the Azores, Canary Islands, and Cape Verde Islands. The species is also common in the Western Atlantic.
The common octopus hunts at dusk. Crabs, crayfish, and bivalve molluscs (two-shelled, such as cockles) are preferred, although the octopus eats almost anything it can catch. It is able to change colour to blend in with its surroundings, and is able to jump upon any unwary prey that strays across its path. Using its beak, it is able to break into the shells of shelled molluscs. Training experiments have shown the common octopus can distinguish the brightness, size, shape, and horizontal or vertical orientation of objects.