What do octopuses eat?

Octopuses are carnivorous marine animals that feed on a variety of prey, depending on their size and habitat. Based on the search results provided, here are the main things that octopuses eat:

Diet of Octopuses

  • Crustaceans: Crabs, shrimp, lobsters, crayfish1235
  • Mollusks: Clams, mussels, snails, other octopuses1235
  • Fish: Small fish, and even sharks for larger species like the giant Pacific octopus1235
  • Worms: Bristle worms, copepods (tiny crustaceans) 23

Feeding Habits

  • Octopuses use their beak (made of keratin like human nails) to tear apart prey and drill into shells1
  • They inject venom to paralyze prey before eating it135
  • Octopuses are stealthy hunters that ambush prey using camouflage and jet propulsion13
  • They envelop prey with their arms, bite it with their beak, and turn the insides into a "milkshake" using enzymes1

Size and Habitat Differences

  • Small/baby octopuses eat plankton, copepods, and other tiny creatures25
  • Medium-sized octopuses eat shrimp, crabs, clams, mussels25
  • Large species like the giant Pacific octopus can eat sharks, lobsters, and other octopuses125
  • Deep-sea finned octopuses like dumbo octopuses eat floating prey like crustaceans and worms12
  • Shallow water octopuses eat crabs, fish, snails found in their reef habitats25
In summary, octopuses are opportunistic predators that eat a variety of marine animals, with their diet depending primarily on the octopus species, size, and environment it inhabits.1235
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