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The Scoop: Octopuses Do Not Have Eight Legs!

I'm not trying to fool you! While octopuses do in fact have eight appendages, recent studies show that several of those – six to be exact – function more like arms with the remaining two acting as legs to propel them through the water. One of these researchers, Alex Gerard, curator of the Sea Life center in Brighton, England explains it like this:

Their front two tentacles will be used for a lot of exploratory work and then the ones immediately behind them will then be used also if further investigation is needed. Then the further back you go, the more the limbs are used for propulsion and movement. From what we've seen, all the limbs basically have the same capabilities. But they seem to favor this system and it works well for them. They have that facility, unlike humans where if we tried to grab our food with our feet we might fail miserably.

So, I guess it's more a technicality but I didn't know octopuses could do things like a Rubix cube or even twist open a jar as seen here – guess you learn something new every day!


Join The Conversation
couture-yourself couture-yourself 9 years
I knew they were smart, but not that smart. They're such interesting animals, but they do give me the heeby jeebies a little bit.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 9 years
They're incredibly smart! They're the kind of animals that need mental stimulation in order to thrive in captivity.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Has anyone else ever seen those videos of octopi grabbing sharks and squeezing them to death? I never thought there was anything scarier than a shark before, but apparently octopi are badass!
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