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(invertebrate zoology)
An order of the dibranchiate cephalopods, characterized by having eight arms equipped with one to three rows of suckers.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an order of marine cephalopod mollusks of the subclass Dibranchiata. Some zoologists consider the Octopoda to comprise only members of the family Octopodidae—the octopuses. The body is short and posteriorly oval; some species have one or two pairs of fins. The head is surrounded by eight long tentacles, or arms. (The term “Octopoda” came into use because the arms were formerly called legs.) In males, one tentacle (less frequently, two) has been modified into a copulatory organ, the hectocotylus. The arms are joined together by a thin membrane and are equipped with suckers. The body length, including the arms, ranges from several cm to 6 m.

Octopoda inhabit waters with a salinity of no less than 3 percent and are found at depths ranging from shallows to 8 km. The majority are benthic animals that use their arms for locomotion. Pelagic forms include some deep-water species and the Argonauta. Octopoda that inhabit shallows have an ink gland, which releases a cloud of inky fluid in defense against enemies. Deep-water Octopoda do not have an ink gland; some have organs of luminescence. Female Argonauta have a shell in which they nurture their developing young. All Octopoda are active predators. In turn, they serve as food for a number of marine mammals and fishes.

Of the approximately 200 species of Octopoda, about 30 are found in the USSR, in the seas of the Far East and in the northern Arctic Ocean. In a number of countries of South Asia, East Asia, and Southern Europe, Octopoda are used as food and are commercially valuable. A fishing industry for these mollusks is now being established in the USSR, in the seas of the Far East.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Photoreception in octopods: The role of ocular and extra-ocular photoreception in maintenance of locomotor activity rhythms [Abstract].
Deterioration of the digestive organs supports the hypothesis that bolitaenids produce a single clutch of eggs, as is typical of octopods (Mangold, 1987).
Guerra, "Locomotion modes of deep-sea cirrate octopods (Cephalopoda) based on observations from video recordings on the Mid-Atlantic ridge," Marine Biology, vol.
They said it was a depth record for an octopod without fins.
The remotely operated underwater vehicle Deep Discoverer came across the octopod near Necker Island, or Mokumanamana, on the northwestern end of the Hawaiian Archipelago.
A new study shows that a blue colored pigment, hemocyanin, in their blood, responsible for oxygen transport, crucially allows octopods to live in freezing temperatures.
The comparatively large captures of octopods recorded in this survey at oceanic stations could reflect either the active movements of these visual predators in searching for food, or alternatively, an accumulation of paralarvae due to currents between inshore and offshore waters.
Lipofuchsin granules in the OG of some octopods are numerous, and measured up to several micrometers in diameter.
The seas where octopods live sparkle with constellations of bioluminescent fish, squid, crustaceans, and other creatures.
Statoliths are solid calcareous concretions located in the statocysts (equilibrium organs) of coleoid cephalopods including squid, cuttlefish, sepiolids, and octopods (Clarke 1966) (Fig.
Octopods, for example, can be trained to identify a variety of visual cues and can even learn behaviorial tricks from one another such as opening jars containing crab prey (Fiorito et al., 1990, Fiorito and Scotto, 1992) Memory and learning can be impaired by lesions to the vertical lobe of the octopus (Fiorito and Chichery, 1995), but to date, no studies of endogenous neurodegenerative disorders in squid or octopus have been published.
Field guide to squids and octopods of the eastern North Pacific and Bering Sea.