An octopus has one stomach, just like humans. Despite having one stomach, their digestive process is quite complex because of their unique body structure. Also, they have a crop that assists the meal is going to its ultimate destination, which is the caecum. Lastly, it’ll go to the anus.
In this whole process, the meal will turn into a milk-like consistency. This occurs even before their food goes to the stomach, and then it’ll go through an even deeper digestive process.
And most interestingly, the digestive process will start as soon as the octopus injects venom into its prey. So now, if you are curious enough about an octopus’s digestive process, then stay with us to find more engaging facts.
In this article, we’ll dive deep into the digestive process and also will know the food habits of octopuses. Let’s get started.
How Many Stomachs Does an Octopus Have?
Octopuses are really famous due to their multiple brains and hearts. That is why many people think they might have multiple stomachs. Which is absolutely not true.
In reality, they have only one stomach each. Though they have one stomach, their digestive process is quite complicated. And what is even surprising is that their digestive system is often compared to humans.
Octopuses are basically invertebrates. They are not like typical fishes that you see in the sea. And when you compare them to other sea creatures, you’ll find that they have no scales and have very different body functionality.
Now coming back to their stomachs, they have only one stomach that helps them in digesting food. Even they have an in-built system that assists their stomach in digesting food even before swallowing.
Octopus Stomachs Functionality
The main function of an octopus’s stomach is to break the food into small pieces. Then it’ll make its way to digestion.
An octopus’s eating process starts right after when they attack its prey. When an octopus feels that there is prey around them, its tentacles will assist them in catching the food as soon as possible.
So, after catching the food, an octopus will break its shell by using its tentacles. And only after that, it’ll take a bite out of its meat. Then the food will move from the buccal mass to the esophagus.
In this phase, the octopus will digest the food a little, and then it’ll go down to the stomach for proper digestion. We’ll discuss the detailed digestive process of an octopus later in this article.
What’s The Digestive Process of An Octopus?
Before digesting the food, what is more, interesting is the way they attack their prey. As octopuses are one of venomous animals, first, they surprise their prey, and at that very moment, they inject them.
To inject venom into their prey, octopuses use their parrot-like beak. Then they lick the food with their radula. However, the food starts to break down as soon as venom enters its body.
As I already said, food enters the short esophagus. There, an octopus will store the food, and slowly it’ll break down to a milk-like consistency. To break down the food, different enzymes will help in this entire process.
Food goes through more breakdowns in the crop and resembles a milkshake in consistency before entering the stomach for digestion.
After the octopus has digested its meal, the food travels via the intestines to the caecum. However, this is the final organ that helps in digestion. Then the ultimate processed food will go to the anus. This also resembles a human body.
Every time an octopus needs to eat, it takes in food, processes it, and then expels it through a funnel. This funnel is called a siphon that plays an important role in the whole digestive process.
What Are the Foods of An Octopus?
Octopuses are basically carnivores. They belong to the predatory category of animals. That means they have to hunt for other marine animals to survive.
Now speaking of what the regular foods of an octopus will be crabs, lobsters, shrimps, small fishes, snails, etc.
However, they try to catch prey that is smaller or equal to their size. But there are some rare scenarios found when they aim for bigger prey. Basically, they will only attack bigger prey if they feel threatened. For this reason, they typically avoid preying on rock scallops and abalone, which have developed natural defenses.
Another interesting fact about these octopuses is that they squeeze their food. This happens due to the absence of a proper skeletal system. Sometimes they even risk their lives by squeezing crabs.
However, while crawling through the open sea, an octopus will try to hunt anything that it finds on the way. In this case, some of the common targets are worms and mollusks.
Moreover, you’ll be surprised to know that octopuses also perform cannibalism. That means they even eat other octopuses in some rare cases. Most of the time, this will happen if one octopus is bigger than the other one. Then the bigger one will hunt the smaller octopus.
What Do Octopus Eat as Pets?
Octopus is one of the sea animals that is loved by most people as their pet. Isn’t that amazing?
You can also pet an octopus. But before that, you should know what do octopus eat, and what to feed them and what not. For their better health, you can give them live food like shrimp, or even they can live on pre-killed food.
As such, it’s safe to add thawed frozen shrimp to the diet of your pet octopus. Therefore, it needs to eat mostly live shrimp, crabs, and tiny fish.
When you pet an octopus, they live a very different life compared to the sea. That’s why you have to make sure they are in proper health.
For that, give them food once a day for six days straight. And make sure to clean the tank regularly and replace the uneaten food. Also, before introducing a new food, check the food with an expert.
So how many stomachs does an octopus have? Till now, you got the answer that they have only one stomach. The meal will break down into small pieces even before an octopus consumes it.
However, a crop is an important part of an octopus’s stomach because it helps the food digest for the whole time. Octopuses mostly consume foods that are high in protein. Because it gives them the energy that they require throughout the day.
Hopefully, you have learned the basic things about octopuses and their digestive process. But if you still got any questions post them in the comment section.