The discussion questions below are designed to promote critical thinking ability without outside knowledge. Students should split into groups and discuss the questions with your class.
Despite the fact that they are very different creatures from octopuses, some species of lizards can detach their tails when attacked in a way that is similar to an octopus detaching its tentacle. Both a lizard tail and an octopus tentacle will continue to wriggle around to distract a predator from the escaping animal. Taking into consideration what you know about octopuses, which body part would wriggle around for longer?
Because octopuses have blue blood, which contains copper that is not as efficient as the iron found in red blood in oxygen-carrying capabilities, the detached octopus tentacle would be able to move for less time than the lizard tail that uses red blood.
Though octopods from Moorea and Hawaii behave differently presumably because of their environments, in what ways might they behave similarly?
Answers could include: Color and mood correlation, arranging food leftovers such as shells and crab carapaces, placing objects in front of their homes as a “door,” carrying objects with them for long distances, capturing prey and eating it in their dens.
How might an animal behavior researcher note differences or similarities in color changing usage when comparing chameleons and octopods?
Answers could include: Test various stimuli on each animal and record each reaction.
The species of octopus in this book, Octopus cynea, is shown to be incredibly intelligent. Is it reasonable to assume that other species of octopus are intelligent as well?
Yes, the octopods featured in the videos are shown to possess intelligence on a level similar to that of Octopus cynea but are clearly not the same species.