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What Do Octopuses Eat – All About The Octopus Diet

The octopus is an eight-limbed, soft-bodied mollusk that eats sea creatures. They are natural predators that know the kind of marine animals to target. This piece will list the prey of octopuses and their favorite diet.

What Do Octopuses Eat – Octopus Diet

Octopus favorite food in the ocean are:

  • Crabs.
  • Clams.
  • Shrimps.
  • Small Fishes.
  • Snails.
  • Lobsters.
  • Sea Stars.
  • Copepods.
  • Octopuses.

Octopuses will eat small fish and even other octopuses. There is no limit to their food if they can kill them.

How Often Does an Octopus Eat?

Octopuses will eat every day if they can find food and are not under any commitment, as is the case of a female octopus protecting her eggs. Octopuses can also eat between 3 to 6 pounds daily. Generally, octopuses eat 2% to 4% of their body weight.

Octopus with tentacles

How Long Can Octopuses Live Without Food?

Octopuses can live for a month without food before they die. Female octopuses are known to die of starvation when protecting their eggs.

They often need to control water currents over their eggs so they get constant oxygenated water to remain healthy. This process may lead to the death of the octopus as it cannot eat during the entire time, which may last over a month.

Is An Octopus A Carnivore?

Octopuses are carnivorous animals. They are known to feed on flesh and are predators that hunt other animals like crustaceans, mollusks, fish, etc.

Octopuses are highly aggressive, curious, and cannibalistic. They are also known for their intelligent hunting strategies and incredible ability to outsmart predators and prey.

Why Do Octopuses Eat Themselves?

Octopus eat themselves for two main reasons, which are listed below:

Raising their young

One of the reasons why octopuses eat themselves is to raise their young ones. The Octopus goes beyond what many mothers in the animal kingdom would do, which is a vital strategy to give their young the best chance of survival.

The female Octopus mate only once within their lifetime and eventually dies. After laying a clutch of eggs, the female protects and carefully watches over her progeny from predators throughout their development.

This commitment led to them starving themselves. They become so hungry that they begin to feed on themselves to help them survive a little longer. Most eventually end up dead during the watch.

Also read: Types of Octopus: The 18 Most Amazing Octopus Species

Octopus at the bottom of the ocean


Another reason octopuses eat themselves is stress. This is usually common with octopuses kept as pets or in captivity. Because their living conditions are not excellent, the Octopus tends to get stressed.

Octopuses may also eat themselves due to virus or bacteria infection. They typically bite off the infected tentacle and regrow a new one.

However, there is a consequence to this survival instinct: cannibalism. When this behavior starts, the octopus never really stops and could attack other octopuses, cannibalizing them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Octopuses Eat Crab?

Yes, octopuses eat crabs. They attack crabs with their suckers and penetrate their exoskeleton with their beak before effectively paralyzing them with their poisonous saliva.

Do Octopuses Eat Starfish?

Octopuses eat starfish. When an octopus egg hatches, the baby eats small foods that include starfish, copepods, and larval crabs. These prey are much easier to hunt down.

Do Octopuses Eat Squid?

No, octopuses do not eat squids. Both animals are cephalopods, and octopuses are not known to prey on squids.

Do Octopuses Eat Fish?

Yes, octopuses eat fish. Fish are among octopuses’ primary prey, and they actively eat them as much as gastropods and lobsters. These eight-legged animals typically target small animals they can subdue.

Do Octopuses Eat Shrimp?

Octopuses eat shrimp. These organisms are carnivores, which means they feed on flesh. Some of the diets of octopuses are shark, shrimp, fish, and lobsters.

Do Octopuses Have Mouths?

Octopuses’ mouths are located at the intersection where their eight arms meet. Instead of teeth, the octopus has a sharp beak made of keratin, which they use for tearing food before swallowing.

Do Octopuses Eat Sharks?

There are some octopuses that eat sharks. While it might seem sharks are invicible, they have predators, and the giant Pacific octopus is large enough to capture and consume a whole shark.

Do Octopuses Eat Turtles?

No, they do not eat turtles. They prefer smaller animals that include small prey like crabs, fish, shrimp, etc.

Do Octopuses Eat Jellyfish?

Octopuses are known to feed on jellyfish on occasion. They are known to consume jellyfish when other food sources are scarce.

Do Octopuses Eat Humans?

No, the Octopus doesn’t eat humans. They don’t often attack people, and even if they attack, which they rarely do, they don’t cause death.

What Do Baby Octopuses Eat?

Baby octopuses eat small food such as sea stars, copepods, and larval crabs. After developing into young octopuses, they often fend for themselves, eating small marine animals that come their way.

How Many Arms Do Octopuses Have?

The octopus has eight arms. Its arms are extremely flexible, allowing it to crawl into tight rooks and crevices, a necessary trait for survival.

Do Octopuses Have Beaks?

Octopuses have a beak in their mouth, which they use on open hard surfaces like shells of clams and lobster so that they can tear out and eat them.

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