Octopus hunting is truly a super predator on the reef
There are more than 300 species of octopus. They are mollusks and being invertebrates, they possess no bones. They are masters of shape shifting, able to fit their entire bodies through spaces barely larger than their eyes. They can elongate for better propulsion, spread out like a parachute to capture prey, and extend their arms into the tiniest of crevices too explore for food. One of the most intelligent creatures in the animal kingdom, they are capable of observational learning and they possess short and long term memories. This octopus is hunting during the day, which is a rare sight. Generally nocturnal feeders, they hide during daylight hours and emerge when darkness envelops the reef. They feed on crabs, fish, and other mollusks, groping around and under coral to capture a meal. Able to control all eight arms independently, their brains are sophisticated and highly efficient. They are even able to smell and taste with their tentacles which is of great benefit when using their arms to find food. When an octopus captures crabs or shelled mollusks, they may be strong enough to tear them apart, but for those with seemingly impenetrable shells, the octopus has an impressive method of overcoming the armour. Minute teeth are used to drill a hole in the shell. With the help of an enzyme in the octopus’ saliva they can dissolve calcium carbonate in the shells. After creating a tiny hole in the exoskeletons, the octopus injects a toxin that will kill the animal, causing the muscles to relax so that the shells can be opened. The octopus has two thirds of its neurons located in complex nerve systems in its arms. They are capable of complex reflex actions that do not require input from the brain. This makes the octopus a powerful, flexible, and formidable predator. The octopus must be wary of sharks, eels, sea lions and other large predators. It is agile and quick in the water for short distances, using jet propulsion for locomotion. It can also expel ink, making it difficult for a predator to see or smell the octopus. Able to conceal itself in small spaces, it is well protected. In the open, it is the master of camouflage and shape shifting, able to disguise itself well against almost any background. There are few predators in the ocean with skills and abilities that rival those of the octopus. It is truly a super predator.