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Underwater photography: images of octopus taken while scuba diving
Blue-ringed octopus | Day octopus | Mimic octopus | Veined octopus | Wonderpus
Family: Octopodidiae Order: Octopoda Class: Cephalapoda

Octopus are part of a large marine group, the Cephalopods with relatives such as squid, cuttlefish and the nautilus. The family name comes from Greek and means head-footed. There are over 100 octopus species including numerous deep-water and pelagic versions.

All octopus are soft-bodied creatures, with that huge head-body and eight long limbs, referrred to as arms, extending from it. These form a circle that encapsulates their mouth. All cephalopods have a shell of some sort – it's just not all that obvious in most – and in octopus it has reduced right down to two rods that are inside the bulbous body. These animals are incredibly entertaining underwater and have a very high level of intelligence. They can also see in much the same way that we can so will often spend a long time watching a diver. Octopus are quite hard to identify as they are all masters of camouflage, capable of changing their appearanc eat will.

The Pacific Giant Octopus is the largest in the species, growing to about 30 feet across while way down along the family chain is the venomous blue-ringed octopus at just a few centimetres – and one of the most dangerous animals in the ocean. This tiny creature uses venom as a knock-out drug. He doesn't inject it into prey but secretes a toxic salvia. Although human deaths are uncommon, the Blue-ring found in Australian waters is particularly dangerous and shoud not be handled. Most deaths have occured when unwary people pick them up!

image gallery

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Int. = intermediate stage
Juv.= juvenile

Octopus are not regarded as an at risk species although their habitats are continually under threat
Octopus encounters
Bali, Indonesia
Puri Jati
8 metres
Amphioctopus marginatus
Veined or coconut octopus

Puri Jati is a marvellous site for any diver who likes looking for marine species in the nursery stage. The flat, sandy bay remains at under 10 metres until a long way offshore before it drops sharply to greater depths. The seafloor is almost blank, just little patches of seagrass and large leaved halameda algae. There’s not even very much rubbish, but where there is, it harbours plenty of life, like this very protective octopus who had placed her eggs carefuly inside a rusty tin and was guarding them.

SPECIES NAMES | Many fish can be hard to identify as they are so similar. Common names vary and even scientists disagree on what is what. If you can name anything we can't, please get in touch.

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