Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 11400

What has eight legs and changes colors? Two chameleons? Well, yes, but that's not the subject of this lesson. Imagine yourself with no bones and ink breath. Watch these smart creatures and be amazed!


Life Science

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Did you know octopuses can change colors?

Where do octopuses live?

Do you see them in the forest? Do you see them in rivers? Share your answer with a parent or teacher.

That's right! Octopuses are found in the ocean. They usually live in shallow ocean waters.

octopus vulgaris

Image by Albert Kok, via Wikimedia Commons, is licensed under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.

An octopus is a mollusk. Mollusks are invertebrates. Invertebrates are animals that do not have a backbone. Octopuses have soft bodies. An octopus has a head with a skull that protects its brain. The skull and beak are the only hard parts on an octopus's body.

Did you know octopuses are incredibly smart animals? Octopuses can play with toys. Check out this cool Octopus with Legos by oceanexplorium video of an octopus playing with Legos!


How many limbs does an octopus have? Count the tentacles on the octopus below. Tell a parent or teacher your answer.

octopus on white background

That's right. An octopus has eight tentacles. They use their tentacles to walk, grasp prey, and hold onto objects.

  • Did you know that octopuses can regrow their tentacles if they lose them?

They have rows of suctions cups on their tentacles. These suction cups are used to attach to objects, hold prey, and taste. Would you want to taste with your hands? Why or why not? Discuss your answer with a parent or teacher.

Octopuses can change colors! They are great at using camouflage. They use camouflage to hide from predators and to hunt for prey. Check out the camouflage octopus below. It blends into its environment quite well, doesn't it?

reef octopus

If the camouflage doesn't keep the predator away, the octopus will shoot out ink onto its predator. This clouds the predator's view and makes it easier for the octopus to escape. If the octopus can't get away, it uses its strong beak to bite the attacker.

  • Which defense mechanism do you think is the best — the camouflage, ink cloud, or the bite of an octopus? 

Discuss your answer with a parent or teacher.


Excellent work! You learned about the incredible ocean animal, the octopus. Tell your parent or teacher one way an octopus protects itself.

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