Interacting with Other Organisms

     Upon hatching, the octopuses experience a very vulnerable planktonic stage. They are snacks for very many creatures, including crabs. A crab can be seen snatching hatchlings out of the water in the video on the reproduction page at around 4:56. (The crab is in the lower right corner of the screen.) Many Pacific octopuses do not even reach maturity, which occurs at about 2-3 years of age. This is an image of a moray eel. It is owned by Richard Ling and can be found at
     In adulthood, the octopus lives a solitary lifestyle. They will rarely see another octopus and will, occasionally, even eat a fellow Pacific octopus. The only time two octopuses are ever seen together is during the mating process.
     The Pacific octopus is food for many other marine creatures. Moray eels are great predators of octopuses. They are able to sneak into dark dens where the octopuses live and attack. Sharks are also major predators of the Pacific octopus. (Although, that's not how it played out in this video.) Killer whales, or orcas, have also been observed eating the giant Pacific octopus. It is believed however that they only consume senescent males because the whale is far too big to get down into an octopus's den. Seals and other marine mammals also enjoy an octopus meal.
     Bacteria often affect an octopus going through senescence. During senescence the octopus will develop lesions, which frequently get bacterial infections. The octopus is unable to fight off the bacteria, so the bacteria win and the octopus dies. Although a virus is not a living creature, it has also been found to greatly affect the octopus. Autophagy is a neurological disorder in which the virus attacks the octopus's central nervous system. This disruption causes the octopus to eat its own arms. It was once believed the octopus did this due to stress. This is an image of a cooked octopus. It is owned by Davide Simonetti and can be found at
    Humans are some of the greatest predators of the Pacific octopus. They are fished to be used as fishing bait for other creatures and to be sold as seafood. Octopus can be used as an ingredient in almost any seafood dish, including sushi and pastas. It has a bit of a tough or rubbery texture so sometimes the "baby" octopuses are used when available. This video show's how to properly clean and cook an octopus into a spaghetti dish.  In the cooked form, octopus contains about 140 calories per ounce.
    Studies have also shown that Photobacterium phosphoreum,
cyanobacteria, and Streptococcus mutans are active metabolizing bacteria that can be found in octopuses. This affects humans due to the fact that these bacteria affect the octopus's shelf life in grocery stores.

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 Julie Kalupa of University of Wisconsin - La Crosse.  BIO 203 - Spring 2012