|Kingdom Animale | Phylum Mollusca | Class Cephalopoda|
Related to the squids and cuttlefish, this 8-armed shell-less mollusc is the most intelligent of all invertebrates, with well developed brains, eyes, and other senses. It is a predator and moves rapidly among rocks in search of crabs and other crustaceans. Octopuses are renowned for their ability to squeeze through the tiniest crevices. Their saliva is poisonous to their prey. They are edible but not much sought after locally. All the local species are small, rarely exceeding half a metre in length with the arms outstretched. During low tide, they shelter in crevices.
Octopuses have beak-like jaws (right) which they use to bite their prey, which are then paralysed by their poisonous saliva. Most of the local species do not have poisons strong enough to affect man. A rare species which has yet to be confirmed locally, Hapolochlaena maculosa, the infamous Blue Ringed Octopus, has a very toxic bite and there have been reports of fatalities.
From A Guide to Seashore Life by Dr Leo W H Tan and Peter K L Ng
Published by the Singapore Science Centre and sponsored by BP
@Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research and Singapore Science Centre