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Incirrate octopods are about 85% of all octopodan species. They are very small to large in size. The members of the Octopodidae, the family with the most species and individuals, are benthic. The other seven incirrate families have pelagic species. The benthic incirrate octopods live from the intertidal zone to at least 4000 m, and bathypelagic forms may be found down to 2000 m. The octopodids exhibit sophisticated behavior. The brain of benthic octopuses, especially that of Octopus vulgaris, has become a model for relating brain structure to function (e.g., J. Z. Young, 1971). Incirrate octopods are commercially fished throughout the world.

Fins are absent and the arms bear one or two rows of suckers and lack cirri. The shape of the body is saccular and rather broad. The arms are often of about equal length, but sometimes the dorsal or lateral or ventral arms are distinctly longer than the others.

Brief diagnosis:

An octopod ...

  • without fins.
  • without cirri on arms.


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