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photos of  cephalopods (octopus, squid, cuttlefish, and nautilus)

To see more cephalopod pictures, click here

lo6751. Caribbean Reef Octopus (Octopus briareus) hunting at night. Traps prey with 'parachute'
high resolution photo of Caribbean Reef octopus hunting at night behavior
lq8359. Mimic Octopus (Octopus sp.) mimicking venomous sea snake to protect itself- a brilliant defense mechanism
mimic octopus mimicking poisonous seasnake horizontal underwater image
lq9660. Bigfin Reef Squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana)
big fin reef squid portrait tropical Indo Pacific Ocean photograph
ma32. Pacific Giant Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini), interacts with scuba diver Melissa Cole (model released)
model released scuba diver interacts with pacific giant octopus
nk0668-D. Day Octopus (Octopus cyanea), with suckered tentacles flared wide
day octopus underwater picture for sale, tiff or jpeg available for licensing
nm0444-D. Flamboyant Cuttlefish (Metasepia pfefferi)
Flamboyant Cuttlefish picture, small cephalopod, photo taken in Indonesia
lq8295. Chambered Nautilus (Nautilus pompilius). Most primitive of cephalopods and ancestor of octopus and squid.
chambered nautilus hires stock photo a primitive deep sea cephalopod
nt1. Pacific Giant Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini). Female protecting eggs
pacific giant octopus, female guarding eggs, will die soon after they hatch

more photos


   vitals                                                              bio
various species
scientific name various species
range worlwide marine, tropical to polar
habitat all
size tiny to huge (20' tentacle span)
diet carnivorous, lots of crustaceans, molluscs
trivia not all have 8 arms or tentacles! some have shells! some are poisonous! 
Cephalopod is Greek for "head foot", referring to fact that these amazing invertebrates have their limbs (feet, or arms, your choice) attached to their heads... A rather unusual arrangement for us, but a strategy that seems to have worked well for them. Octopuses, squids, cuttlefish, and nautiluses are all members of this strange assemblage consisting of hundreds of different species large and small. 
     A few classic, more recognizable examples, include the Giant Pacific Octopus, Enteroctopus dofleini, found in the cool waters of the northern Pacific; the Caribbean Reef Squid, Sepioteuthis sepioidea, a colorful, animated 6 inch long creature common on coral reefs;  the Broadclub Cuttlefish, Sepia latimanus, wide-spread and commonly sighted by scuba divers in the Indo-Pacific Ocean, and the chambered Emperor Nautilus, Nautilus pompilius, a 90-tentacled evolutionary throwback which inhabits deep water.
     It is difficult to make generalizations about a group so broad, but most share a number of common features. Most cephalopods are fast growing, living only a year or two. Most species have three hearts. Many have limbs with suckers. Most can squirt a cloud of ink as a defensive mechanism to help avoid predators. Most can change the colors, and textures, of their skin, resulting in remarkable camouflage and mimicry behaviors. Most have large, well-developed eyes, which show many similarities to vertebrates. All have a beak, similar to that of a parrot. All have blue blood, due to a copper-based respiratory pigment.


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