Fact Sheets

Common octopus

(Octopus vulgaris)

The mantle (head section) of the octopus can reach about 25cm long, and arms about 1m long. Some may reach 3 m in total length. The eight tentacles or arms each has two rows of suckers and the lateral arms are the longest.


Featured invertebrates

Common octopus (Octopus vulgaris)

These amazing eight-legged creatures are widely regarded as the most intelligent of all invertebrates. Their lack of a skeleton means that they are able to squeeze their muscular bodies into tiny crevices, which is very useful as this helps them to escape predators and to capture prey.


Giant spotted hermit crab

(Dardanus megistos)

This species is readily identified by its red-to-orange colour and numerous black-ringed white spots. The body and legs are covered with long tufts of reddish bristles. The left nipper is larger than the right. They have red-and-black eyestalks.


Land hermit crab

(Coenobita cavipes)

Hermit crabs live inland and only go to the beach to breed and to wet their bodies. They bury themselves below the high water mark by day.


Mangrove horseshoe crab

(Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda)

Horseshoe crabs are more closely related to spiders and scorpions than to crabs. There are 4 species of horseshoe crab found around the world. Fossils of horseshoe crabs over 400 million years old show that the species has not changed much. Those alive today look almost identical to those that were around millions of years ago.