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The Octopus is a fascinating creature, we all know they are really smart. They have been said to be as smart as a Domestic Cat.
Some things you may not know however is that they have three hearts and blue blood. Now that is pretty cool!
This isn't the only interesting about their anatomy however; Octopus have a few techniques to avoid predators, they can change colour to blend into their surroundings, can change their body shape to mimic other more dangerous creatures such as the Eel and Lion Fish. They squirt ink to deter predators which temporarily blinds and confuses the potential attackers but if they do get caught, it's really not a problem as they can grow new arms if they are torn off.
This isn't the only thing that can get torn off though...
Mating for males is a dangerous game due to the female's penchant for cannibalism. To avoid getting eaten, they'll often mate from a distance or after mounting the back of a female's mantle — positions that give them extra time to escape should their (usually larger) mate turn violent.
Unlike females, males have a modified third right arm called a hectocotylus, which has a sperm groove down it and a specialised tip. To mate, a male will insert his hectocotylus into the female's mantle cavity and deposit spermatophores (sperm packets). This process may take up to several hours, depending on the species.
In some genera, particularly those in which males are far smaller than females, such as Argonauta (argonauts, or paper nautiluses) and Tremoctopus (blanket octopuses), males have a detachable hectocotylus, which they break off after inserting it into the female's mantle. This hopefully gives them time to make a run for it by crawling or jet propulsion before they are eaten.
A truly awesome creature!
The dimensions of this piece are 75 x 75 x 20mm
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