Common octopus

Common octopus
  • Relatives: octopuses (Octopoda) → Octopodidae → Octopodes
  • Habitat: soil zones of seas and oceans
  • Diet: crustaceans, mussels, crabs and fish
  • Way of life: solitary animal
  • Breeding period: depending on water temperature, 30 - 65 days
Octopus habitat

The common octopus is found all over the world – in the Mediterranean as well as in the Atlantic. The crepuscular and nocturnal animals have their habitat in the soil zones of seas and oceans. They move along crawling with their 8 tentacles of equal length, which are filled with suckers in two rows. They use the recoil principle if they ever have to move quickly. By ejecting the water out of their mantle cavity they quickly move forward with the body. Their tentacles not only serve the octopuses for locomotion, but also as a tactile and prehensile organ. The so-called cephalopods usually have a favourite arm, which they use more frequently than the seven other arms. Since the octopuses do not have a skeleton, they are particularly flexible and find shelter even in the smallest caves and crevices.

Intelligent solitary animal
Octopuses are very intelligent and have a highly developed nervous system. Their efficient brain and the distinctive sensory organs make the animals inquisitive and capable of learning. As a distinctly solitary animal, octopuses behave very hostile towards their fellow species. Octopuses only get together for mating. After mating, the female lays eggs which it guards devotedly. Crustaceans, mussels, crabs and fish are part of the diet of octopuses. In case of danger the animals eject a cloud of ink which is intended to confuse the assailant.


You can experience these and many other animals at Rostock Zoo, home to 4,500 animals in 450 different species from all over the world.