The bright blue rings may make this octopus attractive but it really does not like visitors. Despite its small size of eight inches (20 cm.) , the blue-ringed octopus is venomous enough to kill an adult human in just a few minutes, and there is no known antidote for this deadly venom. Normally this killer’s rings are a dull brown, but when agitated, up to sixty rings flare up with a bright blue as a warning, “Don’t mess with me. If you do, I’ll probably win!” These octopuses, which live in the shallow waters of the pacific, are very light, weighing about one ounce (28 grams), or about as much as two DVDs. Although they can live up to two years, they normally live only one. The blue-ringed octopus, which is thought to be one of the most intelligent invertebrates, uses stealth in attacking the crabs and mollusks which it eats. First it sneaks up behind its prey and grabs it with all eight tentacles. It then uses its bird-like beak to bite a hole in the shell of its victim. Next, it injects saliva and starts eating the soft meat. Finally, once the saliva has partially digested the rest of the meat, the octopus will suck its food from its skin or shell. A blue-ringed octopus mates at the age of four months and lays its eggs at five months. The females carry the eggs around for two months. During this time, they do not eat. Once the eggs have hatched, the females die, having completed their mission.
Don’t forget to check out activity sheet under the sources.
Here’s the picture of next week’s animal.
- coloring/activity sheet
- Blue-ringed octopus – Wikipedia user:Jens Petersen (1829–1900) discovered on Wikipedia
- Mystery animal – public domain