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Squid vs Octopus: What is the difference?

Today, we’re going to take a deep dive into the differences between squid and octopus. These intelligent and mysterious creatures have captured our imaginations for centuries, and it’s time to discover what makes them so unique.

Octopus Photo Credit: NURC/UNCW and NOAA/FGBNMS
Squid Photo Credit: NOAA OKEANOS Explorer Program 2013 Northeast U. S. Canyons Expedition

How do you tell the difference?

When it comes to their appearance, squid and octopuses may seem like they’re cut from the same cloth. Both of these creatures have eight arms, bulbous heads, and large, expressive eyes. 

However, if you take a closer look, you’ll notice some key differences. Squid have a streamlined body and two longer tentacles that they use to capture prey. Octopuses, on the other hand, have a rounder body and shorter arms, which they can use to crawl along the ocean floor.


But do they behave the same?

Squid and octopuses also behave quite differently. Squid are known for being speedy swimmers and can use jet propulsion to jet themselves through the water. They’re also more social creatures and will often congregate in schools. 

Octopuses, on the other hand, are solitary creatures and prefer to spend their time hiding in crevices or camouflaging themselves with their surroundings. They can also use ink as a defense mechanism to confuse predators.

Would they be happy sharing a meal?

Another key difference between squid and octopuses is their diet. Squid are carnivores and will feed on small fish, crustaceans, and even other squid. They use their powerful tentacles to capture prey and their beaks to tear off chunks of flesh. 

Octopuses are opportunistic eaters and will feed on whatever is available, including crabs, clams, and other small creatures. They can also use their beaks to crack open shells to access their food.


Who’s smarter?

Both squid and octopuses are highly intelligent creatures and are considered some of the smartest invertebrates on the planet. However, octopuses are often regarded as being the more intelligent of the two. They have been known to use tools, solve puzzles, and even be playful.

Octopus Photo Credit: Getty Images

While squid and octopuses may share some similarities, they are two distinct creatures with their own unique characteristics. From their appearance and behavior to their diet and intelligence, there’s a lot to learn and appreciate about these fascinating cephalopods!

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