Belize has a wonderful variety of native birds, mammals, sea creatures and reptiles. One of the best-known residents of the Belize Barrier Reef is the octopus, which some call the “brains of the sea.” Learn more about this crafty creature.
Introducing the Octopus
The word octopus comes from a Greek word meaning “eight feet,” and it refers to the animal’s eight legs. The plural of octopus is octopuses.
Did you know there are more than 300 species of octopus? Most octopi live in coral reefs, which is why the huge, protected reef in Belize is a favorite haunt of these beasts.
The Smarty Pants of the Sea
Octopuses are extremely intelligent. Researchers have documented them showing complex problem-solving skills, outstanding memories and complex social structures. Biologists have even seen them using tools. Only chimpanzees, crows and dolphins show the same ability to solve problems and use tools.
In 2009, a marine biologist in Australia discovered an octopus that was using old coconut shells as a mobile home. The octoopus carried the shells across the floor of the sea and used them when he needed shelter.
Because of their brainpower, octopuses are considered the most intelligent of all invertebrates. You could call them the brains of the barrier reef or the smarty pants of the sea.
They Can Suffer From Stress and Depression
People have discovered that octopuses in captivity can easily become bored if they’re not kept in the right environment. This is probably because of their superior intelligence. If an octopus doesn’t have stimulating, colorful surroundings, he’ll respond by eating his own legs.
It’s a good thing the waters of Belize have enough colorful fish, coral and other sea life to keep every octopus entertained.
They Enjoy Shellfish
Octopuses get plenty to eat among the mollusks, crabs, lobsters and other fish that populate Belize’s warm tropical waters. When an octopus is hungry, she waves the tip of one leg to make it look like a worm. When a fish bites the worm, the octopus squeezes the fish and injects it with a deadly venom.
Octopuses are harmless to us. Only the blue-ringed octopus, which lives in Australia, has venom that’s poisonous to humans.
They Have Strong Family Values
Octopuses mate for life. Female octopuses give birth to thousands of eggs during their yearly mating season. Many females die after giving birth. When this happens, the males do not mate again.
Visit the Belize Barrier Reef While You’re at Chabil Mar
If you want to see all of Belize’s exotic, intriguing sea creatures, stay at Chabil Mar in Placencia Belize . Our award winning Belize resort is on the gorgeous beachfront of Placencia Village. Contact us today to learn more about Belize!