Octopus vs. Squid: What's The Difference
If you think octopus and squid are the same animals, you are not alone. More often than not, most people think they are the same, but the question is, are they the same? There are still many people who don't know whether or not they are different or not. If you have a curious mind like everyone else who wants to differentiate their differences, be our guest!
In this article, we will put a stop to the conversation that these creatures are the same. But, truth be told, they are far more different than one would think. They may look like twin creatures of the sea, but they're not. Case in point, there are roughly 300 species of octopus as well as squid. We'll list down the difference between them below. We'll get to the bottom line once everything is settled!
Octopus vs. Squid: Tale of the Tape
As mentioned, the problem with how people see these two different species is how well they look alike and how each of them has a tentacle. So, to further separate and understand more about octopus vs. squid, here's the list of their differences.
Differences of the Squid and Octopus
To understand more about Octopus vs. Squid differences, read down below.
Although both of these sea creatures are semelparous animals that die after mating and laying the eggs, octopuses and squids have different mating methods. As for the octopus, they have an organ called hectocotylus for male octopuses that can insert their sperm into the female's mantle cavity.
After successful mating, the female octopus then lays her eggs in her den and cares for them until they hatch successfully. On the other hand, squids tend to reproduce in large numbers and attach their eggs onto sea beds, seagrasses, or seaweeds. Unfortunately, both of these creatures will soon die after mating.
Octopuses don't have any fins in any part of their body, but it is believed that deep-sea octopuses have. On the other hand, squids have fins on top of their head. For comparison, the famous colossal squid has a pair of tail fins attached to the upper portion of its mantle.
That's why it moved so quickly across ocean waters. However, the fins of the squid are primarily used for redirection and not by propulsion.
Both of these creatures are agile predators. However, they, too, have a different style of capturing their prey. Octopus use their long tentacles and pierce through their crustacean's shell and inject a venom that will ultimately paralyze their prey.
Once the shell is punctured, they will slowly dissolve their prey's body using its saliva. Squid use their tentacles to hunt and catch food. However, rather than puncturing, they consume their food in chunks.
Mode of living
Octopuses are sea-dwelling creatures that prefer living on the sand and dig themselves to catch their prey. They are often found living in sea beds or rubbish that have made it to their location.
Squids are quite the opposite as they thrive in the open water and even into the depths of the ocean, from nearby coasts, rocky shores, even in the deepest darkest area of the ocean. Also, squid tends to live with other squids, whereas octopuses are solitary creatures and are only social when the mating season approaches.
Although they have quite similar makeup, they are still different in many ways. For example, in terms of main organs, the octopus has eight arms, a mantle, and its arms are equipped with suckers, whereas the squid has a mantle, two fins, eight arms with suckers and hooks, and ahead. Nevertheless, they have similarities in their structure and also have different parts from each other.
Furthermore, the octopus has no shell in its body, making them squeezable and passing through tight spaces. Squid have a relatively stiffer structure compared to the octopus as they have this organ called a pen. The pen acts as the backbone for the squid that is flexible and extends through the entire length of the squid. It also helps in stabilizing swimming for squid.
When it comes to their predators, they have different defense mechanisms, making them highly elusive creatures in the water. Squid have the ability to expel a cloud of smoke in the water, which will eventually help them escape or whenever they feel threatened.
Octopus can mimic their surroundings, thus avoiding would-be predators in the making. They can also squeeze their way through tight crevices and areas so that predators can't reach them.
One of the major differences between these species is their life expectancy. Octopuses tend to live shorter, ranging from one year to 3 years, whereas squid has a relatively long lifespan that can reach up to 5 years.
Both the octopus and squid belong to the same class called Cephalopoda. This class means they are head-footed creatures in which their primary feature is their head, and they don't have any feet. Both of them are also invertebrates or don't have any skeletons in their body, but each of them has eight arms. In addition, unlike other mollusks, both of these creatures have a shell.
Octopus versus squid is quite an ordeal when it comes to learning their similarities and differences. Although they share multiple similarities as being in one family called cephalopods, they are not entirely the same. Still, these creatures are important to our marine ecosystem as they provide balance in various food chains and are also a source of food for humans.
Still, both of these creatures suffer various threats that humans make, from global warming, overexploitation, and fishing. On the bright side, these creatures tend to reproduce and produce thousands of eggs; although they might not be considered endangered, it is still a good idea to keep an eye on their numbers and avoid these various threats for the years to come.
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