For centuries, marine creatures have been mysterious and surprising for many. Their unique lifestyle, fantastic adaptability, dazzling appearance, and distinctive characteristics have created interest and curiosity among people. And among those marine creatures, Telescope Octopus is undoubtedly one of them! This blog is all about the amazing facts about telescope octopus.
Telescope Octopus is a supernatural beauty. They look like marine creatures that originated from fairytales. With only inches in size, they live around 500 to 6500 ft in the open sea. On top of that, they have crazy big telescopic eyes.
So is Telescope Octopus actually real? Or are they from fairytales? What makes them so unique and eye catchy?
If you’ve also come across these questions, you’re at the right place. This blog will cover 20 interesting and amazing facts about Telescope Octopus. So read to the last to enlighten yourself about this interesting and unique marine creature.
Just like them, the telescope octopus is also a unique creature. Despite being colourless and transparent, they are often seen glowing in the dark. And due to having big tubular eyes, their naming was done as “telescope Octopus.”
Besides these, Telescope Octopus has some breath-taking characteristics that’ll certainly leave you in awe!
Here are some of the most unique and amazing facts about Telescope Octopus–
1. First Found
The Telescope Octopus was first discovered in 1885 by British zoologist and deep-sea specialist Dr. William Evans Hoyle.
At first sight, the entire team was surprised because it looked like a unique creature out of a fairytale. Due to its transparent body, light could pass through it. As a result, it gave a strange and peculiar sight in the first place.
Initially, there was only little known about this marine creature. However, as the days passed, more researchers were carried on by researchers, and their characteristics were found out!
2. Reason Behind Naming
Although telescope octopuses have quite a few unique characteristics, their unique name is the first thing that differentiates them from other marine creatures.
The reason behind adding the term ‘telescope” before their name is due to their eyes. Yes, telescope octopuses have big eyes that pop out of their head. The eyes are elongated and moveable, and they help octopuses to have a wider vision of their surroundings.
Due to telescopic eyes, Telescope octopuses get a better and wider peripheral vision of their environment, which helps them identify predators and prey.
So cutting it short, Telescope octopuses are mainly named due to having big, elongated, and popping-out telescopic eyes.
There are around 300 species of octopuses. And most of the species are found in oceans and nearer to the surface. Besides, octopuses are invertebrates. And just like other octopuses, Telescope octopuses are invertebrates as well.
Telescope octopuses are also found in the sea or ocean, and they belong to the family Ampharetidae. They fall under the kingdom Animalia, a species of pelagic Octopus mostly found in tropical and subtropical regions.
Understating the taxonomy of marine creatures can be a little confusing. So to make things easier, here’s a chart so that you can clearly know about the Taxonomy of Telescope Octopus-
Last but not least, the binomial name of Telescope Octopus is Amphitretus pelagicus.
4. Size and Weight
There are thousands of marine creatures that live under the water in deep seas and oceans. Among them, many are gigantic in shape, whereas many are tiny creatures. Talking about Telescope Octopus, Telescope Octopus are neither tiny nor gigantic.
A telescope Octopus can generally be around 4.4 to 10.6 (11 to 27 cm) inches in length. Mostly, the species is around eight inches long, and over half of its length is made up of its arms.
Besides, they have a mantle in their body that houses everything. The mantle has an average length of around 1.6 to 3.9 (4 to 10 cm) inches.
Although the exact weight of the telescope Octopus is yet to be known, a typical Octopus can weigh between 6.6 to 22 lbs. As a Telescope Octopus is a part of the Octopus family, its body weight is similar to the regular ones!
5. Gelatinous and Transparent Body
The body structure of a Telescope Octopus is different in comparison to regular marine animals or fishes.
Telescope octopuses have no scales on the upper part or external part of their body. Instead, they are cephalopods, and they have translucent skin. The translucent skin is flexible and gelatinous.
On top of having a gelatinous body, telescope octopuses are transparent. Their eyes and digestive gland are the only visible body parts; the rest are transparent.
Telescope octopuses are known to be related to Glass octopuses as well. They have got an uncanny resemblance as they both are transparent and gelatinous.
Besides being transparent, the gelatinous body shape or flesh ensures they leave no shadow. As a result, when they move in the gloomy twilight, they’re hardly seen.
The transparent appearance of the Telescope octopus gives them a ghostly look. However, this acts as a protection for them in one sense as it helps them to avoid their predators’ eyes. Due to this, it’s quite difficult to notice Telescope Octopus with the naked eye. On top of that, they use their transparent body to detect and hunt prey.
So if you ever go looking for them, you’ve to be extra careful to notice them properly.
However, they cannot be completely invisible because of their non-transparent eyes and digestive gland.
6. Lifespan of Telescope Octopus
The exact lifespan of the Telescope octopus is yet to be known. However, it’s believed that octopuses have shorter lifespans than other marine creatures, which is true for telescope octopuses.
Typically, the average lifespan of octopuses is around 3 to 5 years. However, there are the shortest living octopuses that have only 6 months lifespan. On the other hand, giant octopuses live almost 10 years.
The fact is octopuses have short lifespans; octopuses die once they mate. They can only mate once in their life, and when the mating ends, the male octopuses die. And when the eggs are fertilised and developed, the female octopuses also die.
7. Deep Water Creatures
Telescope octopuses are deep-water creatures. That means they live at deep heights under the sea level.
Telescope octopuses aren’t found in the ocean at a single depth or height. They love to stay at different heights. So that’s why their living height varies.
However, they are mostly seen in the meso bathypelagic zone, below sea level. That means they prefer to live in depths between 150 to 2000 metres. Due to this, they’re known as deep sea animals or creatures. Among the Telescope Octopus, the young ones mainly live in higher levels of the water column.
Now let’s come to the part where Telescope Octopus is found.
Telescope octopuses are mostly found in tropical and subtropical regions or water. They are mostly seen in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Although most octopuses are found in this region, a trait in Telescope Octopus differentiates them from other octopuses.
Although octopuses love to crawl on the seafloor, this is not seen in the case of the telescope Octopus. Unlike others, Telescope octopuses love to spend time in the water.
8. Big Telescopic Eyes
One of the unique features of telescope Octopuses is the telescope’s eyes. Telescope octopuses have elongated tubular eyes. The eyes are big and pop out of the head, just like a Telescope.
The telescopic eyes are movable and rotatable as well. They provide a few advantages to telescope Octopuses. In the wild open sea, the telescopic eyes help octopuses to have wide peripheral vision. As a result, they can detect prey and predators easily. Besides, the big eyes also help them to monitor their surroundings and find food.
9. 8 Arms and 2240 Suckers
We all know that octopuses have multiple arms. And due to having multiple arms, they create a web-like structure or shape when they move. But little did we know that the arms have suction cups!
Yes, the arms of the telescope Octopus have suction cups. They have in total 8 arms; in each arm, there are 280 suction cups.
Octopuses have no teeth. So, the question is, how do they take food? Well, they use their arms and the suction cups to taste, grip, and smell food and other objects.
Although the suction cups are used for various purposes, they don’t have any teeth. The suckers are powerful and are only muscular structures used to hold, grip, and smell.
Another surprising thing about the arms is that they can be moved and rotated independently. That means it ain’t necessary to move all the arms in the same direction for the same purpose.
The main task of the arm is to control the suction cups and gather external information from the surroundings. That’s why the arms are often called mini brains.
Telescope octopuses fall under cephalopods. And Cephalopods are carnivores.
The main foods of telescope octopuses are crustaceans, fish, jellyfish, and other tiny creatures. Besides, telescope octopuses eat other cephalopods as well.
Telescope octopuses begin their hunting at night. They utilise their transparent body to hunt during the night. As a result, it helps them find prey quickly and avoid the sight of predators.
Their favourite place to hunt prey is at the water’s surface. They reach the surface of the water from deep heights to hunt down prey. However, once the sun rises or there’s light, they return to their natural position.
11. 4 Stages of Life Cycle
Although the exact life cycle of a Telescope octopus is yet to be known, it’s believed that its life cycle is the same as that of other octopuses.
The first stage is the eggs. Female octopuses lay eggs once they’re fertilised. Typically, females lay around 10,000 eggs at a time, and they are around 0.3 cm in length. For the safeguarding of eggs, females lay the eggs in small holes or under rocks.
Once the eggs are laid, stage 2, the larva stage, begins. In the larval stage, the eggs are hatched. Normally it takes around 4 to 8 eggs for the eggs to develop and hatch. The larval octopuses are called octopods at the initial stage. And during this development period, the larval remains around the ocean’s surface. In the larval stage, the octopods mainly take larval crabs, starfish, and plankton.
The third stage is the juvenile stage, where babies develop rapidly. The weight of each octopod begins to increase by 5% every day. During this time, they are fed well and begin to get stable body weights to survive the odds.
The fourth and final stage is the adult stage, where the Octopus is mature and ready to mate. The matured octopuses have an arm called a hectocotylus to release sperm in the female. Both male and female octopuses die after mating, but females typically live longer.
The males typically die within a month of mating, whereas female octopuses help to hatch and develop the eggs and feed them. And once the eggs are hatched, the female octopuses die as well.
12. Die After Mating
As you already know that telescope octopuses are cephalopods. And cephalopods only mate once in their life. And after the mating is done, they die.
Normally when females are ready for mating, their body turns to a different colour. During the reproduction process, the male telescope octopuses place their sperm in the female’s body.
The sperm are mainly placed in a special cavity called the pallial cavity. Male octopuses use a tentacle called a hectocotylus to place the sperms. And when the sperm is placed, the female lays down the eggs when fertilised.
13. Has 3 Hearts
Yes, you might be surprised to know this, but telescope octopuses have 3 hearts. Well, this is not only applicable to the telescope Octopuses only but, almost all octopuses have 3 hearts in their body.
The 3 hearts have different tasks. Among the 3 hearts, the main job of 2 hearts is to pump blood to the gills. And the 3rd heart helps circulate the blood to different body parts.
14. Has Blue Colored Blood
Human blood is red-colored. And the main reason behind this is the presence of haemoglobin. But in the case of octopuses, the case is different!
Hemocyanin is present in the blood vessels and body of the Telescope Octopus. And due to the presence of hemocyanin, the blood of the telescope octopus is blue-colored.
15. Fast Swimmers but Prefer to Crawl
Telescope octopuses are fast swimmers like other octopuses. However, they prefer to crawl, and the reason is surprising indeed!
Telescope octopuses have systematic hearts. When they swim, the systematic heart becomes inactive. And due to inactivity, they stop pumping blood to the organs, and the Octopus becomes exhausted.
So to keep away the exhaustiveness, Octopus prefers to crawl than swim despite being a fast swimmer.
16. Use Gills to Respire
Like every other living organism, octopuses need oxygen as well for survival. Like fishes, octopuses also use their gills to intake oxygen and breathe in the deep ocean.
The gills of the Telescope Octopus are located in the mantle cavity. An interesting fact is that octopuses require more oxygen than other marine creatures like mollusks and fish.
As you already know, octopuses use their gills for respiration; the gills are made differently. Normally, the gills are made up of numerous feathery filaments. Octopuses use these feathery filaments to intake more oxygen for breathing.
17. Moves Through Jet Propulsion
I bet you’ve heard about swimming and crawling but not about jet propulsion, right? So what is jet propulsion, and how do telescope octopuses use it to move?
Telescope octopuses use their mantle and gills to move by jet propulsion. At first, they draw water into their mantle cavity and let the water pass over their gills. After that, when it wants to move, it immediately contracts its muscles in the mantle cavity. And after that, the water is squeezed with power. And due to the squeezing, the Octopus propels itself in its direction.
Although telescope Octopus remains in the deepest layer of seas or ocean, they can inject venom when anyone comes in contact with them. So to be on the safer side, it’d be wise not to get in contact with them without proper protection.
19. Not in Danger of Extinction
As of today, telescope octopuses are not in danger of extinction. You already know that octopuses lay around thousands of eggs at a time, and they have an average survival rate.
Some people think that telescope octopuses are endangered and extinct. But it’s totally false! As a telescope, octopuses live under the deep sea and waters and hardly come to the shore. That’s why this misconception is created.
So the bottom line is telescope octopus are not endangered or not in danger of extinction.
20. Can Be Kept in Aquariums
For years, octopuses have been kept in aquariums or jars in labs or houses. Octopuses are invertebrates, and they have no shells.
Octopus is considered one of the most intelligent creatures with a high IQ. There have been many cases where octopuses escaped from aquariums or jars. So for keeping them in aquariums or ports, certain conditions should be met first.
Although telescope octopuses are rare, they can still be kept in jars or aquariums. But remember that the jar or the aquariums should have tight-fitting and secure lids. All the inlets and outlets should be properly sealed, or else the Octopus might escape.
So that’s all on knowing about telescope Octopus. Telescope octopuses are indeed mysterious. Besides, new things about their lifestyle and habitat are still being discovered.
Being only a few inches in length, they can survive in one of the most dangerous environments. They have solid adaptability and high IQ, making them the most intelligent marine creatures.
So that’s it. As you’ve read this far, we believe you can grasp all the information we provided. Now it’s your turn to enlighten others. Finally, if you have any questions or queries, you can drop them in the comment box below. We’ll try to answer them. Thank you!