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, member of the class Cephalopoda, the most highly organized group of mollusks (phylum Mollusca), and including the squids, octopuses, cuttlefish, and nautiluses. The class as a whole has become adapted for a free-swimming existence.
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 mollusk having no shell, eight muscular arms or tentacles, a pouch-shaped body, and two large, highly developed eyes. The prey (crabs, lobsters, and other shellfish) is seized by the sucker-bearing arms and pulled into the web of tissue at the base of the arms, paralyzed and partially digested by a poisonous salivary secretion, and chewed by the horny, beaklike jaws and the radula, or tooth ribbon. Octopuses move by pulling themselves along with their arms or by forcibly expelling water through the funnel or siphon in the manner of their near relative, the squid. Sometimes they construct barricades of large stones; most hide in rocky crevices at the approach of danger or cloud the water by ejecting dark "ink" from the ink sac. They also change color (from pinkish to brown) according to mood and environment, sometimes exhibiting rapid waves of color changes that sweep over the body. The 3-ft (91-cm) American devilfish is found off Florida and in the West Indies; a smaller species that reaches only 2 in. (5 cm) is found N of Cape Cod. The common octopus of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic occasionally reaches 10 ft (3 m) in length; the giant octopus of the Pacific may have a diameter of over 30 ft (9 m). Octopuses reproduce sexually. One of the arms of the male is modified into a sexual organ that deposits spermatophores in the mantle cavity of the female. The eggs are encased in capsules and attached to a rock, where the female guards them. The young hatch directly, without a larval stage. Octopus is eaten in many parts of the world. Octopuses are classified in the phylum MolluscaMollusca
, taxonomic name for the one of the largest phyla of invertebrate animals (Arthropoda is the largest) comprising more than 50,000 living mollusk species and about 35,000 fossil species dating back to the Cambrian period.
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, class Cephalopoda, order Octopoda, family Octopodidae, genus Octopus.
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What does it mean when you dream about an octopus?

An octopus in a dream may signify that a situation or a personal relationship has completely entangled the dreamer. Alternatively, the dreamer may be too possessive and clinging in a relationship. If the dreamer is leaving home or a job in real life, this dream symbol may indicate the dreamer is clinging to a family member (e.g., the person’s mother or spouse) or to the employer or fellow employees. If the dream has a positive emotional tone, it may show someone involved in many different things.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


(invertebrate zoology)
Any member of the genus Octopus in the family Octopodidae; the body is round with a large head and eight partially webbed arms, each bearing two rows of suckers, and there is no shell.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. any cephalopod mollusc of the genera Octopus, Eledone, etc., having a soft oval body with eight long suckered tentacles and occurring at the sea bottom: order Octopoda (octopods)
2. another name for spider
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


You may say, “Who dreams of an octopus?” but people do, and you probably did if you are looking up this dream symbol. Frightening dreams involving an octopus may point to unhealthy attachments and entanglements in daily life. If the dream content was not frightening or disturbing, it may reflect your involvement in many different activities or adventures.
Bedside Dream Dictionary by Silvana Amar Copyright © 2007 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
An information-theoretic perspective was used to compare the fits of relatively simple GLM's to help determine those combinations of gear and environmental factors most influential on occupancy of pots by octopi. Models were constructed that contained some or all of the main effects and any logical first-order interactions.
A total of 625 pots with lids, 625 pots without lids, and 250 conch pots were fished during the study; all pots combined caught a total of 229 octopi. The greatest mean catch pot type occurred in spring and summer months (Fig.
Mean mass of octopi varied little among pot types: 0.53 [+ or -] 0.28 kg for octopus pots with lids, 0.57 [+ or -] 0.28 kg for pots without lids, and 0.54 [+ or -] 0.23 kg for conch pots.
The predictive relationship between proportional occupancy of traps by octopi (CATCH) and soak times (TIME) was significantly negative.
Stations with the greatest mean catch in this study are regarded as more unknown and difficult to locate; as a result, they may experience less intense harvest pressure by fisheries that interact with octopi (such as Black Sea Bass trapping and scuba diving).
In contrast, the gear modification of adding lids to the plastic pots to retain octopi during haulback seems unnecessary; pot type was not an important factor in model fitting to catch data.
The first is that octopi are more active at warmer temperatures; Whitaker et al.
The monthly rate of growth of octopi along the east coast of Tunisia is superior to that of octopi in the Gabes Gulf.
The last factor seems to be determinant in the growth of octopi. The temperature influences considerably on the precocious growth of the animal during the planktonic postembryonic phase and during the first periods of benthic life.
The difference in weight in favor of the octopi from the Gabes Gulf compared with those of the eastern coast could be explained by temperature and the availability of trophic resources.
The influence of the temperature on abundance of octopi has also studied in Spain by Vargas-Yanez et al.
The difference in monthly growth rate could be explained by a shorter longevity resulting from precocious maturation of the octopi along the eastern coast of Tunisia relative to those of the octopi in the Gabes Gulf, or by a possibility of different populations in these 2 regions.