Octopuses are some of the most fascinating marine creatures in our oceans. There are over 300 different species ranging from large to small, with all being venomous and great hunters.
They feed on mostly crabs, clams, snails, and other crustaceans, but what about fish? Do Octopus eat fish?
Yes, Octopuses do indeed eat fish. The size of the Octopus will depend on the size and species of fish they like to eat, but almost all species of Octopus have fish in their diets.
Do Octopuses Really Eat Fish?
Octopuses have eight tentacles that are covered in suction cups that allow them to grab their prey and quickly pull them into their mouth.
Once in the stick grip of an Octopus, they pull their prey in and inject them with venom using their parrot-like beak to paralyze their prey.
Despite the Octopuses’ favorite food being crabs, they also love to eat small fish. Catching a crab can be risky business, as they often have sharp claws that can harm the Octopus.
Whereas fish are pretty much defenseless from an attacking Octopus, so they are a much easier meal and one that most Octopuses enjoy.
What Fish Do Octopuses Eat?
As mentioned earlier, the size of the Octopus is largely going to determine what species of fish they will eat.
These animals will eat just about anything they can catch, and are not fussy eaters when it comes to their food.
Most Octopuses enjoy a wide range of small fish, as well as clams, shrimp, crabs, snails, and sea stars. The larger the Octopus the bigger fish they can eat, some Octopuses such as the Giant Pacific Octopus will even eat sharks.
How Much Fish Do Octopus Eat?
Octopuses require a lot of protein to sustain themselves, so they need to eat a lot of food in order to grow. The amount of food required for an Octopus will vary depending on the species, size, and food available to them.
The Giant Pacific Octopus will often eat between 2 – 4% of its total body weight in food per day, with a good portion of that coming from fish.
They are incredibly intelligent animals and will actively hunt animals that are not equipped to defend themselves, making fish the perfect snack for a hungry Octopus.
How Do Octopus Catch Fish?
Most species of octopuses live in dens and use the element of surprise to catch fish. They use their long sticks tentacles to grab onto any unsuspecting prey that comes close to their den.
Their suction cups are incredibly sticky and are incredibly difficult to escape from once they have a hold, after all, they do have eight of them.
Once the Octopus has a hold of its prey, it can easily overpower it and drag it right into its mouth. If required, they will use their venom to inject the fish to paralyze it to make the process a lot easier.
They often inject crabs, lobsters, and other prey that have the potential to harm them before consuming them.
The venom liquefies the inside of crabs and then they suck the crab right out of its shell.
So, do octopuses eat fish? Absolutely. They will eat a wide variety of fish as part of their diet, with the species of fish depending largely on the size of the Octopus.
These animals are super intelligent and are well equipped with the tools they need to catch, kill and eat food.
Fish are defenseless when up against an Octopus, so they are an easy target that poses no risk, providing they can get a hold of them.
Hopefully, this post has been helpful and you’ve learned something new today about why Octopuses eat fish and how they do it.
Hi, I’m George – the founder of MarinePatch. I created this blog as marine wildlife has been my passion for many years. I’ve spent over a decade in the marine wildlife industry and spent years out in the field conducting research. In today’s modern world, an online blog is the best place for me to share my findings and reach as many people as possible to help educate and inspire others. Enjoy your time here and you’re welcome back anytime!