Good Example Of Common Name AND Scientific Name Report

Type of paper: Report

Topic: Octopus, Water, Color, Behaviour, Prey, Women, Ocean, Aliens

Pages: 7

Words: 1925

Published: 2023/02/22

Lab report about Common octopus

The common name of the organism is common octopus. Its scientific name is Octopus vulgaris.


Common octopus is found in Class Cephalopod, Order Octopoda, Family Octopodidae, Genus Octopus, and species vulgaris.
  Octopus vulgaris inhabits almost all oceans of the world with tropical and semitropical waters. The oceans they inhabit include Mediterranean, pacific, Indian, and Atlantic (Quetglas et al. 238). According to (Silva et al. 838), Common octopus dwell in shallow waters which can go as to a depth of two hundred (200) meters though they usually inhabit areas close to the shore (Miesel et al. 191). It has been found out that the depth of the water is highly correlated with the size as well as the weight of the octopuses. In a study conducted by Silva et al. (849) in Spain, Octopus vulgaris it was reported that octopuses in deep waters were smaller and lighter than those found in shallow waters. In the same study, it was reported that most of the octopuses preferred to live in waters below a 100 meters. In these oceans, they are found in various substrates including rocks, sands, and reef.
These organisms are usually found in salinities of 36 g/lr in their habitats. On the other hand, the optimum temperatures of their habitats ranges from 15 to 16 °C. However, they are found in habitats of varying temperatures.
Common octopus has developed several mechanisms so as to ensure survival in its harsh environment. Firstly, because it inhabits environment full of predators, the absence of either shells or skeletons enables it to escape from potential predators by squeezing through narrow crevices where it is impossible for predators to get to. The second adaptation is the presence of ink sac. This is used when the animal is threatened. The sac releases a black chemical substance which makes the environment dark thus allowing the octopus to escape.


Common octopuses are carnivores. They consume a number of prey. Examples of prey include oysters, bony fishes, cephalopods, crabs, clams, and gastropods. Even though they are not capable of perceiving different colors, they are capable of recognizing their prey either by using the prey’s characteristic features, their scent, movement, and also shape (Fiorito and Gherardi 85). One of their hunting techniques is groping where they move their long arms over the rocks, holes, and sediments in search of food. Another hunting approach involves enclosing of the prey by use of web. Thirdly, they expose the prey which is hidden in the sediments by spraying it with water under high force. Some other hunting techniques include stalking and ambushing (Hanlon and Messenger 31).


Common octopus occupies all the seas and oceans in the world and thus considered both cosmopolitan and global. Their occupy oceans all the way from Mediterranean seas and England’s southern coast to Africa (Senegal). They are also inhabitants of Western Atlantic, Canary and Cape Verde islands.


As octopus live solitarily, their mating behaviors are not characterized by pairing or long term courtship. They do not also show monogamy (Hanlon and Messenger 35). These animals are oviparous- they lay eggs and have no embryonic developments inside the mother. They are not hermaphrodites i.e. they have separate sexes (males and females). When the octopus attains the age of sexual maturity, it develops the urge to undergo mating. In the male, there is the presence of a long arm that is referred to as hectocotylus (Hanlon and Messenger 36). The role of the arm is to hold sperm. Once a receptive female is found, the male inserts hectocotylus into the female’s fallopian tube. Alternatively, the male can detach the modified arm and give it to the female which then keeps it in her mantle for future use ( until it lays the eggs). After laying the eggs, the female retrieve the modified arm and spray the eggs with the sperms so as to effect fertilization process.
The laid eggs are usually attached to a substrate and are protected by the female until the time of hatching. During this period, the female foregoes food. To keep the eggs aerated and free of predators, the females blow air currents over the eggs. Incubation of the eggs usually take a minimum of two months and a maximum of ten depending on the temperature and the species of octopus. After hatching, the offspring are left on their own hence their low survival rates. The newly hatched are usually seen floating on the oceans as microscopic specks while others start their lives at the bottom of the oceans.
Common octopus reproduces from the month of February to the month of October but most reproduction take place in the month of April. An interesting feature of common octopus mating is the absence of courtship and colorations in both the males and the females. Courtship is a behavioural mechanism in which sexually mature adults of a particular species try to attract a mate. These behaviors are meant to enable the males and females of the same species to recognize each other. They normally come in terms of sounds, color, and scent. These behaviors are not shown in common octopus. The only striking behavioral phenomenon is that the males display their big suckers as a proof of their gender. Another interesting fact that’s typical of octopus is that that after mating, both the male and the female die. It is also worth noting that the males attain sexual maturity earlier as compared to the females.

Physical appearance

All octopuses show similar anatomical and structural features. The difference come only in terms of sizes. They all have eight legs covered with several suckers. They grow up to a length of 1.3 meters and a weight of 10 kilograms. Octopuses does not have a particular color. Even though the common color is brown, they change their colours depending on their surrounding and also to thwart predators. Coloration also depend on the octopus moods. For instance, white and red colors have been associated with fear and anger respectively. Other features include lack of internal shell. The diagram below shows a brown common octopus.


Octopuses show solitary behaviour. They spend most of their lives in dens and only leave during the night for hunting purposes. One of the outstanding behaviours in terms of their habitats is that they change their dens after one or two weeks. These dens are commonly found in crevices, under the rocks, and bottles found in floors of the seas.
Common octopuses are nocturnal. Once they get out of the den, during the night, they use locomotion (walking) to move around. Their locomotory behaviours are by means of several rows of suckers which are located under each arm. These suckers have numerous neurons hence highly sensitive. Another common locomotion behaviour is that it uses fins for swimming. In terms of feeding behaviours, the common octopus uses long arms to capture their prey in crevices. Moreover, their soft bodies enable them to easily squeeze through tiny crevices in search of food.
Common octopus also learn easily. Their learning is by observation of what others do (modelling). They have also been found to solve problems and use tools to hide from potential predators e.g. the use of coconut shells to hide. Moreover, they use crustacean shells to mark their boundaries and also for protection purposes.
They also show camouflaging behaviour. In this behaviour, common octopus uses cells containing pigments and special muscles under its skin to match its background (i.e. colors, textures, and patterns of its immediate environment). This enables it to escape predators.
These organisms have also been found to display intelligence behaviors and have been found to have short-term as well as long term memories. Despite the fact that young octopus do not learn any behaviour from their parents, they usually display complex behaviors such as mimicry where they move their long arms so as to mimic other sea creatures’ shapes. Mimicry is a term used to describe a behaviour in which weaker animals adopt the behaviours of their stronger counterparts in order to keep off predators. The weaker animals may resemble a toxic animal or a dangerous one so as to gain protection. This has been well adopted by Octopus.
In laboratory settings, they can be trained to differentiate between a variety of shapes and sizes. In these experiments, they show observational learning. Other behaviours shown in aquarium include: releasing of bottles into currents. Moreover, they have shown the use of tools. For instance, they have been seen reaching out for coconut shells pieces and reassembling them for use as a source of shelter. Moreover, they have been reported to show a variety of communication behaviours. The most important of all are communications that take place through rapid changes in skin color. The change in skin color is controlled by the nervous system. Common octopus are poikilothermic; their body temperatures changes with that of the surrounding. They do not show hibernation or aestivation just like all sea creatures.

Species survival status

At the moment, common octopuses are not either considered as endangered or threatened group of animas. However, because of its preferred use as a source of food in Asian cuisines their populations can be endangered if fishing is done during the breeding seasons. There populations can also decrease if overfishing is done.

Something special

Common octopus has been used extensively in myths. For instance, The Gorgon of Greek mythology is thought to be inspired by this organism. In the mythology, octopus represents the medusa’s detached head. Kraken, sea monsters, have also been depicted in arts as giant octopus attacking ship. Moreover, in Ainu folklore, Akkorokamui is portrayed as giant octopus. The organism has also been used in literature. For example in the book Toilers of the sea by Victor Hugo.
In addition, the organism has been used as a metaphor. Because of the presence of numerous arms originating from a common point, it is commonly used metaphorically for a group that is considered powerful and highly manipulative. The use of the metaphor is usually in negative terms and are used by opponents of those groups.
A funny fact about octopus is its use in football. It was used during the 2010 World Cup to predict the winner in football matches which Germany played. Many accurate predictions were made by Paul the octopus such as when Germany played in the World Cup third place tie against Uruguay and six Euro 2008 games. Apart from the play off against Uruguay, it also correctly predicted six other games which Germany played during the World Cup. Two same boxes with food and dissimilar colors of the competitors’ flags were presented to Paul the octopus and whichever the first box he would consume food from was the winner in a match. Paul the octopus in general predicted 11 games correctly out of 13 including the winner of the World Cup in 2010.
Common octopus is also important in the field of medicine. It has enhanced research in that it is a venomous animal which requires treatment when one gets bitten. Doctors have researched on the ways of treating a venom bite because it kills a human being in minutes. Octopus bites have therefore has been instrumental in the medical field because doctors have been kept on toes to develop anti venom which stops the effect of the venom when one is bitten

Works cited

Fiorito, G., and F. Gherardi. "Prey-handling behaviour of Octopus vulgaris (Mollusca, Cephalopoda) on bivalve preys." Behavioural Processes 46.1 (1999): 75-88.
Hanlon, Roger T., and John B. Messenger. Cephalopod behaviour. Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Meisel, Daniela V., et al. "Contrasting activity patterns of two related octopus species, Octopus macropus and Octopus vulgaris." Journal of Comparative Psychology 120.3 (2006): 191.
Quetglas, Antoni, et al. "Biology and fishery of Octopus vulgaris Cuvier, 1797, caught by trawlers in Mallorca (Balearic Sea, Western Mediterranean)."Fisheries Research 36.2 (1998): 237-249.
Silva, Luis, Ignacio Sobrino, and Fernando Ramos. "Reproductive biology of the common octopus, Octopus vulgaris Cuvier, 1797 (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae) in the Gulf of Cádiz (SW Spain)." Bulletin of Marine Science 71.2 (2002): 837-850.

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