However this horrific scene turned out to be a pure fantasy. Octopus use their suckers to attach to rocks, to climb vertical surfaces and to keep prey, not to extract blood from hapless sailors. Most octopuses are absolutely harmless and friendly, like this Falkland Enteroctopus megalocyathus on the picture.
Our “big – sucker – beastie” is smaller, its size usually not exceeding one meter with the maximum recorded weight slightly more than three kilos. It occurs at depths from a low tidal level to 150m in Atlantic and Pacific waters around the southern South America. South American fishermen highly appreciate its delicious taste. In the Falklands it is mainly consumed by sea lions for which it is an important part of the diet, and sometimes – dusky dolphins. Juvenile octopods live in kelp forests and around, and because of this may fall prey to cormorants.
Because it lacks a skeleton and is literally a knot of muscles, the octopus can easily squeeze through very narrow openings, behaving much like a live liquid. This ability helps the octopus to hide from predators in daytime. But in spite of having no backbone, it is one of the cleverest marine creatures – a primate of the sea. For example an octopus could easily learn to open a glass jar if it spies its favourite food inside.
Reproduction happens all year round, but mostly in spring. At copulation a male passes to the female a bunch of spermatophores – long and slender sperm containers of 20-30 cm length. Then the female lays up to 15 thousand eggs of about 1 cm in length that she broods in a sheltered place protecting them from predators. After all the eggs hatch the female dies. Males do not live much longer. Life span of the octopus is about 2 years, though its giant brother from North Pacific could live as much as 3-4 years.