The Octopus: The Smartest Cephalopoda

The Octopus: The Smartest Cephalopoda.

The Octopus: The Smartest Cephalopoda

In addition to water, octopus contains high levels of protein, and therefore many important amino acids), while it has minimal fat and carbohydrates. 100 grams contain 30 grams of protein. It also contains vitamin B12, selenium, iron, copper, sodium and phosphorus.

In addition to its important nutritional value, it helps prevent various forms of cancer as well as the proper functioning of the brain. It contains significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which are associated with a reduction in heart disease. The fact that it contains minimal fat makes it ideal for diets aimed at weight loss.

The octopus is a benthic species (i.e. it lives on the seabed) with eight tentacles (hence its name), without a shell and with a hard beak. It belongs to the family of Octopuses, the cephalopod family (octopus-cuttlefish-squid) and the general cohort of Malakia.

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We find octopuses in all the seas of the world which due to the large variations in shape, skin, weight and behavior we divide them into about 150 species. In the Mediterranean Sea and consequently in our seas, it has been recorded that about twelve species live with different characteristics each.

Octopuses are one of the smartest and most greedy creatures in the aquatic world. They are occasional predators and predators that grab whatever polishes them and eat a wide range of prey. The octopus has three hearts, has large eyes and smart tentacles full of neural cells (something like mini-brains), and can regenerate its limbs when they are cut. Because they have no shell, they find their safety only in flight or in disguise. They can quickly change skin color and texture, and even shape at will to suit the environment.

These qualities constitute a defense mechanism that tries to deceive the enemies but also to scare them. When the octopus is scared, it remains completely motionless so as not to betray its presence and takes on the shade of the environment. It also gets the different colors of things on the rock that rest on, such as algae or horseshoes that vary from black-green to dark red. Octopuses do not need to be able to see the colors to reproduce them since they have color blindness. As long as they touch an object to "feel" them and reproduce them. The suckers of their tentacles are full of chromocytes and as soon as they touch the sand their color becomes much lighter, gray or white.

The Octopus: The Smartest Cephalopoda

All octopuses can mimic the relief of the surrounding area by showing bumps or puddles on their skin and even take various shapes to deceive their predators or their prey, making it even more difficult to distinguish on the seabed or rocks. Its tentacles can also acquire dark or light streaks and can even change its brightness depending on the surrounding area and when it remains stationary in its chamber or anywhere, it can be very difficult to impossible to distinguish.

When he wants to intimidate an opponent he takes a savage stance sometimes stretching and inflating his body and sometimes aligning his body and tentacles. His large black eyes roll, shine and stare steadily forward while his eyelids swell and form a thick black line. If it is out of its nest, it balances on the back (fourth) pair of tentacles, holding its scary face towards the enemy and now and then launches strong water shots at its opponent. The rest of the tentacles curve to their maximum point and the mantle takes the shape of a bell while the color of most of its body is pale and its edges are dark red or gray. There is also another attitude he uses to become one with the environment, to become invisible. The body is flattened or compressed or wrapped in a ball and its skin is covered with spots, spots and erect spots depending on the environment, color. The black line of the eyelid grows, and white spots appear on the tentacles. The color of the mantle and its body acquires stripes alternating light and dark while its tentacles fold in such a way as to give the octopus a discontinuous appearance.

The Octopus: The Smartest Cephalopoda

If attacked, it fills the cavity with its mantle with water and expels it with great force, which allows them to make a very fast launch, like a jet. As they escape, they release a cloud of ink from their hunter, which interferes with the predators' senses and allows the octopus to escape.

In other words, octopuses have a unique ability to quickly camouflage which has inspired many modern technologies and robotic systems. These "disguises" are achieved due to his high intelligence, which is due to his unique and complex DNA. Researchers led by Daniel Roxar, a biology professor at the University of California, Berkeley, recently published in the journal Nature that they had decoded the octopus genome and that the octopus has about 10,000 more genes than the 23,000-person human. The octopus shows significant genetic differences with other cephalopods and all invertebrates, concerning which it has a genome up to six times larger while hundreds of its original genes have no equivalent in other animals.

The Octopus: The Smartest Cephalopoda

Octopuses are not social animals. They are lonely and each lives separately, except during the mating season. However, the most important thing for any octopus is to get a roof. Every octopus wants to have a house, a protected place, a safe room because if it does not have or if it is not near one it feels naked and unprotected and is constantly looking to find one to protect itself from its enemies, which may be the oysters. eels, seals, other fish, etc. His life, in short, since he has no shell, depends on his ability to find shelter. But once he finds a suitable place to hide or when he has such a place near him, he feels safe and calm.

It does not prefer and systematically avoids seabeds with a lot of algae, mud and stones in which urchins live, because they bother it. They prefer calm waters and do not want areas with currents or ripples because the seabed stones are mixed and sand or mud rises that passes under its mantle and bothers it. In winter or when bad weather is approaching then they move to deeper waters to avoid this annoyance. The octopus is very capricious. He does not like to have a permanent home, and you will never see an octopus staying in a cabin for more than a week, except for the female during the spawning and hatching period. Usually octopuses stay in a chamber for 2-3 days and do not move far to find food. But after two or three days he begins to explore both for food and a new home. If during his walk he finds another empty chamber or space, he occupies it many times, although he will use it again for a short time, he gives real battles with the others. In an octopus at a depth of 20-50 m, the chambers are usually 20-30 m apart and if one octopus approaches another's nest, then either a fight takes place or the resident spreads a tentacle and the invader realizes that the position is occupied, and he leaves. In shallower waters, the chambers, depending on the type of seabed and its terrain, can be only a few meters away. The chambers are usually 20-30 m apart and if one octopus approaches another's nest, then either a fight takes place or the occupant spreads a tentacle and the invader realizes that the position is taken and leaves. In shallower waters, the chambers, depending on the type of seabed and its terrain, can be only a few meters away. The chambers are usually 20-30 m apart and if one octopus approaches another's nest, then either a fight takes place or the occupant spreads a tentacle and the invader realizes that the position is taken and leaves. In shallower waters, the chambers, depending on the type of seabed and its terrain, can be only a few meters away.

Because octopuses do not have a skeleton or shell and because they can expel water from their body they manage to fit in confined spaces for which they often fight to the death to obtain them. We can see it living in very strange places such as small caves in rocks, in shoes, in car tires, in tins, in jugs or jars, in cans or even in bottles thrown into the sea. It has been observed that the octopus chooses between four different types of sea urchins. The well chamber, a hole that opens in the seabed, the burrow chamber that digs next to and under a stone or rock, the empty shell chamber found at the bottom and the chambers of "man-made" solid waste. So we will often see octopuses wandering on the seabed looking for a hole or a place in which they can enter and protect it by fortifying it. We will also often see, when we hunt octopuses with speargun, a perch betraying us the position of the cabin after it goes and stands outside the cabin on the rocks completely motionless. He is the ally of the spearfisherman .......

When an octopus chooses the appropriate chamber for it, then it starts to clean it, to shape it and to move various objects such as stones, shells, etc. to fortify it and reduce its entrance opening. Octopuses make their cabins comfortable and keep them clean. Inside, they level the seabed, gravel or sand, with water dripping from their siphon, and after each meal meticulously remove the remnants of their food by pushing them out. For this reason we will notice around each cabin several food scraps, such as crab shells, mussels, quinces, etc.

Octopuses have an aggressive and predatory lifestyle due to the excellent sensory organs they have and the effective nervous system they have. Their highly developed eye, in combination with their senses, detects at long distances first the movement and then the prey. Then based on its general shape, because they have color blindness and in chemo-aesthetic indications, they apply and seize it tightly. Octopuses hunt all hours but dusk and dawn are more active. Usually most of them stay in their cabin during the day and from there they lurk for passing food while during the night they move around and look for their food.

The Octopus: The Smartest Cephalopoda


The octopus consists of two main parts, the sac (hood) and the tentacles (arms). It looks like it has a huge head but in reality, this is its main body that looks like a bag open at the bottom and that encloses its organs.

Its head is the small hard part, from where the tentacles start radially and from where the hood hangs. It does not stand out easily and that is why many people confuse the hood with the head, which is just the hard part on which his eyes are.

The hood forms a cavity, the mantle, which includes the hearts, the stomach, the gills and the siphon (or funnel). At the bottom it has an opening from where the water that is necessary for the octopus to breathe and move enters. The ends (lips) of the hood open and close freely allowing the octopus to take water that flows into the siphon to push it backwards so that the octopus moves forward at high speed. This movement is used to catch of his booty or his escape from the enemy. However, its slow movements in the water are done with the help of its tentacles.

The eyes of cephalopods are almost the same as those of humans. They have eyelids, irises, crystal lenses and retina and are much more expressive than the eyes of any other marine animal. They are large, prominent and cover a wide field of view. Furthermore, they have a complex structure and their vision is as sharp as that of other cephalopods. Experiments have shown that it can distinguish the polarization of light, brightness, size, shape and horizontal or vertical orientation of objects while its color vision varies from species to species with almost all species of octopus having color blindness.

When an octopus is calm or resting its eyes are motionless. But as soon as something moves in the area or a prey or predator appears, its eyes rise like a periscope, and they are so agile and independent that they can turn and look in a different direction each. The sharpest vision of the octopus is of great value, because it enables it to constantly watch the outside world safely from its cabin. The mouth is located just below the head and in the center of the junction of the tentacles. It is a hole with two bones, made of keratin jaws, which look like a bird's beak and the bottom covers the top. This is the only bone element in his body that he uses to cut his food. This "parrot" beak consisting of successive rows of five teeth is hidden under two lips and encloses a chewing structure (radula) which is a special tongue that has a scraper on it and two pairs of salivary glands. The front pair secretes a mucus and the back a poison (cephalotoxin), to paralyze its victims, as well as various proteolytic enzymes. There is, but very rarely.

Eight arms (tentacles) start around the mouth, surrounded by a membrane. Its arms, its tentacles, are circular in cross-section, thick at the beginning and thin as a thread at the end so that they can penetrate almost any opening. These tentacles are responsible for almost all its functions and movements and carry along their entire length two rows of suction cups (suction cups) to attach and trap their food or to assist it in its movements and many other activities. Each tentacle has 240 suction cups of various sizes and each tentacle, in a fully developed octopus, has a pulling force of about 20 times its weight. The pulling or attaching force of each suction cup is completely controlled by the octopus and the tentacles act like legs, as hands and as tools. They catch, wrap, tighten, pull, open, stick, etc., performing whatever the brain tells them to do. Each pair of tentacles is used for specific tasks and more specifically the two tentacles located on either side of the eye axis are called "dorsal", they are exploratory and responsible for grabbing. The next two are the "sides" that are suitable for collecting stones and shells and finally the other 4 "abdominal" are used for hooking and moving. All tentacles can do everything and each tentacle can do something different. That is, they can operate independently. Each pair of tentacles is used for specific tasks and more specifically the two tentacles located on either side of the eye axis are called "dorsal", they are exploratory and responsible for grabbing. The next two are the "sides" that are suitable for collecting stones and shells and finally the other 4 "abdominal" are used for hooking and moving. All tentacles can do everything and each tentacle can do something different. That is, they can operate independently. Each pair of tentacles is used for specific tasks and more specifically the two tentacles located on either side of the eye axis are called "dorsal", they are exploratory and responsible for grabbing. The next two are the "sides" that are suitable for collecting stones and shells and finally the other 4 "abdominal" are used for hooking and moving. All tentacles can do everything and each tentacle can do something different. That is, they can operate independently. The next two are the "sides" that are suitable for collecting stones and shells and finally the other 4 "abdominal" are used for hooking and moving. All tentacles can do everything and each tentacle can do something different. That is, they can operate independently. The next two are the "sides" that are suitable for collecting stones and shells and finally the other 4 "abdominal" are used for hooking and moving. All tentacles can do everything and each tentacle can do something different. That is, they can operate independently.

The Octopus: The Smartest Cephalopoda

Its suction cups can also work independently. So one tentacle can grab a crab, while another can repel an object it considers dangerous.

The lateral tentacles are longer than the corresponding ventricles, the dorsal ones are closer while in males the third right tentacle is differentiated from a very young age (when they reach a weight of 70 grams) in an organ for the transfer and introduction of semen. Its end is like a spoon, it is called ectocotyl and encloses tiny sperm cysts, the seminiferous ones. In adult octopuses this tentacle is about 75% of the corresponding opposite (left).

All the tentacles of the octopus can be elongated and when they grow longer their diameter decreases. Experiments have shown that an average-sized octopus weighing two to three kilograms can lengthen its tentacles by 10-12 centimeters. Finally, the suction cups of the tentacles, especially the sucking epithelium, contain touch cells so that the octopus can perceive and taste what it touches. Octopuses remarkably have an excellent sense of both touch and taste while on the contrary their hearing is limited.

The circulatory system is supported by three hearts, two of which push blood to the gills and the third to the rest of the body, producing enough pressure for blood to reach everywhere. Oxygen transport is not done with hemoglobin as in mammals but with the protein hemocyanin which contains copper and gives the blue color to their blood. When the protein is oxygenated it is blue, while when it is released its oxygen becomes colorless. Despite the effectiveness of the three hearts, octopuses due to the weak oxygen carrier, carry with the blood insufficient amount of oxygen, so the octopuses are not very active and constantly moving. They are lazy and like to sit in their booth for many hours.

Their nervous system is highly developed and extremely complex with 130 million neurons of which only a part is located in the brain and two thirds are located in the nerves of its tentacles, which have a relative functional autonomy even if there are no stimuli from the brain. This feature dramatically raises their IQ and allows the octopus with eight tentacles to do something different. Octopuses are much smarter than any other invertebrate in nature and their intelligence and ability to learn is the subject of much discussion among biologists. However, experiments that have been done have confirmed that they have a remarkable memory system of short and long duration.

Octopuses have different modes of defense, the main ones being hiding, camouflage and escape. The flight is often accompanied by the release of ink to hide in it and also use it to intimidate a predator. It has also been observed that some other animals have to cut off certain parts of their body on their own when they are in danger. If a tentacle is cut off in a battle by a predator, or if its tentacle is trapped somewhere or if it eats it to survive, it can be re-created due to the regenerative capacity of the tentacle within a few days, but from a tentacle it does not octopus can be regenerated.

The ink that is released is produced in a special organ-gland, the black sac, which is located inside the visceral sac. This gland, when the octopus feels threatened, secretes and releases the ink (a brown-blue-black liquid) through the seat to create a protective cloud and hide from it. It is also believed that the alkalinity of the ink affects and repels predatory fish. Many biologists believe that the octopus's ink paralyzes both the mermaid's sense of smell and vision, which is its strongest hunter.

All parts of the octopus's body are covered externally by a membrane, a thick skin, brown with variations depending on the surrounding area and its mood. Its skin, like that of the squid, is dotted with thousands of spots, the chromophores (that is, a cell with pigment), which it controls voluntarily to change its color. Tiny muscles determine the size and shape of the pigments, so that the octopus can change colors from deep brown to light blue. Also, under the chromophores there is a layer of prismatic plates, called iridocytes, which reflect sunlight, adding to the richness of the colors. But most color changes seem to be related to the animal's behavior and mood.

The underside of the octopus, the one with the suction cups, always has a lighter color, a white-gray that sometimes turns almost white. This is most noticeable as we get closer to his mouth.

The Octopus: The Smartest Cephalopoda


Octopuses generally feed primarily on crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, crayfish), bivalve molluscs and with a particular preference for mussels and quinces, gastropods and of course fish.

An octopus when it is in its chamber sometimes stays still and observes around it and sometimes uses all kinds of movements to attract its prey. We will see it curling up in front of its nest and moving its tentacles in every possible way that will attract a fish, crab or gastropod and now and then water blows to the bottom to reveal a shell. When something is found within its range with a quick movement, it spreads its tentacle, grabs it and pulls it into its chamber. If he encounters it again during his slow and silent movement on the bottom for food, then he approaches it at 15-20 cm and with a lightning movement he rushes and covers it with their tentacles and membrane and then transports it to the chamber.

The octopus is attracted to any waving or shining object. If he is far away so as not to lose it, he starts his attack immediately and with momentum. He approaches the prey with great caution and when he approaches it, he always touches it with the tip of one of its tentacles. He then immobilizes it with his tentacles and suction cups and as soon as the shellfish is found under its membrane it receives a splash of venom and enzymes from its salivary glands to weaken the shell and then pierce it with its beak and radu to inject him with another fluid containing toxins with digestive enzymes. The toxins relax all the victim's muscles to neutralize his reaction and the victim is paralyzed almost immediately, while the enzymes destroy the cohesion of the tissues so that they can easily eat their contents.

The octopus, perhaps because it is not immune to its toxins, waits up to twenty minutes before eating. Then he uses his beak and eats first what he can cut, that is, his soft parts. If the victim is large and with hard meat then the octopus injects more enzymes. The tips of its tentacles penetrate the smaller joints of the lobster or crab legs and all the flesh is transferred from the suction cup to the suction cup to its mouth. The octopus can eat one or a crab and empty a large shell in half an hour, while a lobster needs half a day. Most of the time, if the victim is two-door, he brings it with his tentacles close to his mouth and by exerting an attractive force with his suction cups, he manages to open it and eat its interior.

In general, with each kilo of food that the octopus consumes, it increases its body weight by half a kilo.


The Octopus: The Smartest Cephalopoda


The octopus has individuals of both sexes and their distinction can be easily perceived by various morphological characteristics. Thus, if there are two gonads in the visceral cavity, the animal is female. If there is one, then it is male. The gonads are located on the back of the hood and this feature helps us to identify the sex, especially in octopuses that have lost the third right arm (presence or absence of ectocotyle) or are very small. Finally, the male octopuses can be distinguished relatively easily from the females if we observe their lateral tentacles and see that in the middle they have scattered some large suckers (suction cups), much larger than the rest, while on the contrary the suckers of the females are evenly distributed in all tentacles.

During the mating season, the male, aiming to impress the female, approaches it and gives a wonderful performance with movements and figures that even the best dancer would envy. The female pretends not to want to and drives it away for a while but eventually accepts it. Octopuses flirt, with the preliminary games looking like one dancing and one fighting. For several hours. The male then grabs the female and inserts the tentacle with the hectocotylus into the female's mantle cavity for fertilization. The meeting takes place other times with the two bodies united and confused as a mass, other times to be side by side or from a distance, just enough to reach the male's tentacle, and finally for some species of octopus to cut off the tentacle completely with the ectocotyle from the male and to enter the ovary of the female for fertilization. The same couple has sex several times and the mating takes about a week. The male can mate with many females and one female can accept other males and so there is no permanent pair in them. Mating has also often been observed without the female still being mature.

During mating, the ectocotyl takes sperm from its sac (gonad) and deposits them in the female's ovarian gland, where when the mature eggs pass through them to emerge from the fallopian tubes, they are fertilized. This process of fertilization can take from a few days to weeks or even months depending on the species. Unfertilized eggs are discarded.

Females that are fertilized and ready to give birth repel males, avoid them systematically and do not want to have sex at all. They then become restless and seek to find in shallow water a hard substrate, safe and protected to lay their eggs. On rocky shores, or reefs, females choose a hole, crevice, or shelter and often protect their entrance with stones, shells, shells, or other solid objects that they collect for this reason. Unlike sandy or muddy or nasally bottoms where there is no natural cover, eggs can be placed for hatching in empty mollusks or objects of anthropogenic origin found at the bottom such as e.g. containers, boxes, bottles, car tires, tins, boots etc.

The octopus eggs are elongated with a sesame-shaped, medium size of 2 mm and are surrounded by secretions of the fallopian tubes that help to stick together and form bunches that will then cling like "grapes" to the selected surface (substrate) from the mother in shallow water. There are dozens of "grapes" hanging from the surface and each "grape" contains hundreds to thousands of eggs. The number of eggs varies depending on the genus of the octopus and the number of mature eggs that are in the spawning period and this is usually 1 in 100. Of course the eggs do not hatch all at the same time, because they are not all born at the same time.

During spawning and then hatching, the female rarely leaves the egg mass and stays there to guard and care for them. The whole life of the female after the birth of the eggs revolves around them. He protects them from predatory fish, cleans them by rubbing them with his tentacles and cools them by spraying water with his siphon. During this period he fortifies his chamber more by placing additional objects in front of the entrance while he constantly has a characteristic defensive attitude with his tentacles folded upwards.

The breeding season varies depending on the genus of the octopus and the climatic conditions of the area. It can be from a few days and weeks to years. The temperature of the sea has a great effect on the incubation as in all species and that is why at low temperatures this period is extended. In tropical and subtropical waters, spawning is observed throughout the year, while in the Mediterranean from March to October. At a temperature of 25 °C the eggs are incubated for 22-25 days while at 13° C the duration of incubation can be extended up to 125 days. When the temperature drops below 10° C, the growth stops for a while and continues until the temperature reaches 10° C again and the incubation can last up to 5 months.

Throughout the spawning and hatching period the female usually does not feed and dies shortly after the last eggs hatch, having lost at least 1/3 of their pre-spawning body weight due to the energy of production and hatching of the eggs. Eggs and due to starvation. Some females have been observed to remain in their cage after hatching but are thin, weak and cachectic. In this case, if we accidentally catch any, we find that it does not have a tumor with rich flesh and gives us the feeling of being damaged. In this case we say that the octopus is "spilled" and we return it to the sea to become food for others since it is not going to survive.

It has never been observed for a female octopus to give birth for the second time and that is why it is said that females mate only once in their lives. However, the male can mate with other females, if he has the opportunity.

The Octopus: The Smartest Cephalopoda


Newborn octopuses leave their cage with a stock of yolk that allows them to live a few days if no food is available in the environment. During this period very few will survive since the fish that are gathered around the entrance of the chamber will get a large share. Out of the thousands of small issues to survive a few dozen and the mortality observed is very high at this time. The young octopuses rise to the surface of the sea where they live for a period of a few months (planktonic period, 40-60 days) feeding mainly on plankton and then becoming benthic (descending to the bottom). The transition from planktonic to benthic life is gradual and in this phase they begin to develop activities such as attachment to the seabed, moving to the seabed crawling.

The existence of small octopuses all year round is not due to continuous spawning but to different growth rates that depend mainly on the availability of food. In the Mediterranean, for example, octopuses that hatch in late spring and go through the early stages of development during the summer (high temperatures), mature during the winter and give birth at an average age of 12-15 months. Octopuses that hatch in late autumn will mature in the second winter, at an average age of 15-18 months, and finally octopuses that hatch in mid-summer can be genetically mature in the first winter or later, depending on the conditions (temperature).


Octopuses have a relatively short lifespan which depends on the species of octopus and where it lives, which can be from 6 months to 3-4 years. A major cause of death is due to their reproduction as many males can only live for a few months after mating while females who remain fasting during the egg hatching period usually die of starvation. In general for females octopuses the life cycle ranges from 12 to 24 months while males are likely to live longer.

Octopuses reproduce only once, at the end of their relatively short life, which lasts about one to two years. The male octopus dies after fertilizing the female, which in turn lays hundreds of thousands of eggs for a month or two. During this process it does not feed at all, "it collapses, resembling more and more shellfish", describes the biologist. As soon as his offspring hatch, the female dies.


The octopus is an excellent food and meze not only for humans, there are records from the Homeric era, but also for other animals such as the seal, the dolphin, the moray eel, the rooster, etc. It is much preferred by the Mediterranean peoples, the Asians and the Polynesians. But the biggest octopus lovers are the Japanese, who like and appreciate their eyes very much.

The Octopus: The Smartest Cephalopoda

As a food it is very low in cholesterol with very few calories but is rich in vitamin A, sodium, phosphorus and zinc. It is therefore recommended for diets (depending on the way of cooking) but it needs attention in its consumption, because it is quite indigestible. It should therefore be eaten with plenty of fresh salad to facilitate digestion and if one suffers from ulcers, hypertension, esophagitis and bile one should be very careful or avoid it.

When cooking, we must keep in mind that it does not need salting and that it collects a lot during cooking, since it contains about 70% water. You put another in the utensil and another comes out. The popular saying "the octopus always brings out the cook thief" is well known.

Fresh octopus is not eaten because its meat is like rubber. But to be eaten, grilled or cooked, it must be softened. The octopus softens well and retains its taste only in the traditional way that says it should be hit on a rock or pier forty times. So after we clean it, we must then peel it, that is, rub it 20-30 times in a flat part of the rock with frequent rinsing in the sea to leave the saliva that comes out as we rub it. This is done until the tips of the tentacles curl and change color and of course it is time-consuming as it can take up to 20 minutes. In this way, the pigments that affect its taste are eliminated and its muscle tissue softens.

If the octopus is sun-dried in the summer sun, then the external pores are closed and its internal fluids are retained for a quick and good roasting on the coals. Five hours in the sun with the breeze blowing is enough to dry a medium octopus in summer.

To clean it, we turn the hood in and out with our fingers, remove and throw what is inside and then with a knife we take it out and throw the mouth with its "beak".

If we do not have the patience and time for the traditional method we can put them in the freezer that the longer they remain, the softer and tender they will become. In the freezer the octopus lasts 6-8 months, because it is low in fat while in the freezer only two at most, days. But drying can also preserve the octopus. After soaking it a little, spread it in the sun to dry for three days, and then we can bake it. The only thing the octopus can't stand is the water. If it enters water, it acquires a stench and spoils within a day.

Also, to avoid manual labor, we can put it in a small washing machine and prepare it effortlessly. It is good to find an old small washing machine and turn it exclusively into an octopus preparation machine. But for it to become tastier, we have to give it seawater, and it needs a lot so that its tentacles do not get tangled with each other. Of course, after finishing the work, it needs a good rinse so that it does not smell and collects wasps or other insects.

The male octopus is tastier, tastier and softer because it hunts and feeds all year round and thus builds more muscle tissue. That is why if during our fishing we prefer to keep the male octopuses and return the females to the sea, we will allow the females to live and perpetuate their species. Finally, there is a case to find a lean octopus, looking like a spoiled one, and find by cutting a tentacle vertically, that it has no marrow in the center, then it is a "spilled" octopus, and it is not eaten.

The Octopus: The Smartest Cephalopoda


The best time to fish octopuses is from autumn to spring since in autumn the young have grown up and are very active. The best place for fishing from the shore is the rocky but also the sandy bottoms where the cabin makes while by boat we fish them from 1 to 30 meters or even deeper since there we will find bigger and by many tastier.

The octopus is by nature a strange animal that is attracted to anything strange, shiny, white and generally anything that moves. So many fishing methods are based on this property.

In North Africa, on the Tunisian island of Kerkena where octopuses are abundant in winter, fishermen sink palm branches covered with algae. The octopuses stick to the branches and the fishermen lift them easily. In Polynesia, fishermen use a large "reptile" bamboo rod that has a large hook attached to the back to which it ties some white cloths and some shells. So they lower the rod at the entrance of the chamber and move it slowly and circularly around. The octopus sees it, rushes and hooks it and the fisherman raises it. In Naples, Italy, and elsewhere, fishermen catch octopuses with an ancient method. They lower a half-full white clay jug with white pebbles near rocks. Octopuses, with their preference for jugs and pots, quickly resort to them. So they leave the jug at the bottom for a few days, the octopus comes in taking out the pebbles where when they see them, they pull on the jug and catch them. In many places instead of a jug they put more, a few dozen tied in a frame that immerse it in the area. Other means using the same principle do not sink vertically but are thrown away into the water and then slowly pulled towards the boat. In southeastern France, in the Provence region, and the C .te d'Azur, they use a mirror to tie it to a fishing line, throw it away and then pick it up slowly. A few dozen tied in a frame that immerse it in the area. Other means using the same principle do not sink vertically but are thrown away into the water and then slowly pulled towards the boat. In southeastern France, in the Provence region, and the C .te d'Azur, they use a mirror to tie it to a fishing line, throw it away and then pick it up slowly. A few dozen tied in a frame that immerse it in the area. Other means using the same principle do not sink vertically but are thrown away into the water and then slowly pulled towards the boat. In southeastern France, in the Provence region, and the C .te d'Azur, they use a mirror to tie it to a fishing line, throw it away and then pick it up slowly.

In our parts the octopus is fished by amateurs near the shores in shallow waters with sandy or stony bottom, close to dry and of course the period when they are in abundance, from September to April. For fishing, it uses glass during the day or a firecracker at night and a long harpoon (pentaena) or spearfishing for what is in their boats and shallow water or with octopuses (from rocks or boat) and mainly with the "kolpada" or "Brakalola" again using natural or technical baits. Of course, they can be caught accidentally on hooks or squid, while sometimes they stick to the hooks of longlines or vertical. It is fished in deeper waters by professionals with nets and traps (kofinela, kiourtos, kiupia).

Fishing with glass:

In many places the fishermen from the boat use glass and try to locate the octopus chamber at the bottom. Once the booth is located, the fisherman approaches the edge of a pole that has tied some bait, either fresh fish or something sparkling. As soon as the octopus sees it, he rushes and grabs it and then the fisherman nails the octopus busy with the bait with a harpoon.

The favorite tool of amateur "octopuses" but also many professionals is the "kolpada" or the "bracarola" that appears in many variations from place to place. This tool is a kind of bottom troll that allows us to fish octopus from a boat at any depth.

In general, it consists of the mother, which is a thick string or thick line, usually 120 ara, 60-100 meters long (its length is usually twice the depth that we will fish) that ends in a thick and strong safety pin. Our rigging also consists of 120ara 1.5-2 m long line that on one side has a strong twister and on the other a large weight 400gr or a shiny chain 20 cm so as not to climb the rocks and stones at the bottom.

To the side of the weight are attached every 15 cm some light-colored baits natural (fresh fish usually horse mackerel) or artificial (usually silicone crabs, shellfish, etc.) to attract octopuses thinking they are food. Many fishermen also use cockroaches or pieces of animal fat that turn white in the water. About 20 cm above, we tie 4 to 5 glittering fish dummies every 10 points to attract the octopus' attention. Ready-made or improvised metal fish, white cloths, strips of sheet metal or tin, wooden fish painted white, etc. are usually used.

The Octopus: The Smartest Cephalopoda

In fishing from the boat in this way, we sail at a very low speed or with oars, drag our mechanism to the bottom at an angle (not vertically) and wait for the octopus to see it and rush to it. Our fake glittering fish - With the reflections of the light it makes with the shake, it stimulates the curiosity of the octopus and takes it out of its sea. The octopus approaches quickly, sees the bait we have, rushes and hugs them. Usually the octopus catches the chain first and that's how we feel it. We play our fishing line for a while so that he thinks that it will leave him and because he is a predator by nature, he will cover the bait with his body and will tighten it harder. This way it will remain "tightly hooked" on our brocade until with constant movements we will bring it close to our boat to pick it up by hand, with a hook or with an abstention. At this point it needs special attention because the octopus as soon as it is released leaves the bait and tries to go to the bottom. Once we put it in the boat, we pierce it with a knife at a point between the eyes and the head so that it does not leave us and so that its meat does not harden due to the release of toxins.

The kurtas are made of wire or plastic while the coffins are made of reeds and wicker. As bait are used mainly white fish (horse mackerel, sparrows), crabs (live or dead), shellfish etc. Fishing octopuses with cups is prohibited in several countries around the world but in Greece it is allowed without restriction at all times of the year. (P.D. 144/1984). In several areas, fishermen make buckets from various materials such as pieces of PVC pipes, car tires or even with plastic barrels and fish the octopuses with them. They make a few holes in the cups so that the water can come in and out easily (ease of dipping and lifting) and then they tie the cups with a thick line and a special clip (safety pin) on the mother which is made of a thick rope. Usually with this tool we fish at depths of 10 to 15 m.

One of the various fishing methods that seems to cause the greatest destruction to octopuses is fishing with PVC shells, clay, etc., because this method also catches females during their breeding season, when the shells have rotting eggs which are destroyed.

The important difference between the kiurto and the kofinelo from the kyupia is that the former are made of wire or plastic mesh, which makes the inside of the traps visible, so the octopuses do not go to use it as a chamber but enter the trap to eat the bait. Which has (fish, crabs, quinces, etc.) since octopuses are known to be the biggest catch thieves. You will often hear fishermen complaining that octopuses rob their nets and steal their best fish and that they also eat lobsters caught in their lobster traps.

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