This octopus hunting on the reef shows an incredible ability to change texture and colour. These animals are true super predators. They are the most intelligent invertebrates on the planet, capable of observational learning and problem solving. They have short term and long term memory. They are incredibly strong and more flexible than any other carnivore. But what most people do not realize is that they are highly specialized hunters that can prey on creatures with seemingly impenetrable shells and exoskeletons. The octopus has a tooth on its tongue that helps it drill a tiny hole in the shells of mollusks and crabs. It can dissolve calcium carbonate, the substance that mollusk shells are made of, using its saliva. It can then deliver a highly venomous bite, paralyzing and killing the animal in the shell. This makes it easy for the octopus to open the shell and eat the creature inside. Octopus have sophisticated brains, but the nerve bundles in their arms are complex enough that they can control the movement of all 8 limbs without the need for input from the brain. The octopus also has the ability to taste and smell using each of the hundreds of tentacles on its arms. It uses the arms to reach into crevices and hiding spots and it can detect prey without needing to see it. Pound for pound, there are few animals in the ocean that are such efficient and capable predators.
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