For the most part, the majority of Octopuses feel very, very slimy, soft, tender and velvety. Slippery and sticky usually is the feeling too. The reason is, Octopus have a slime coat on there bodies to protect them from harmful bacteria's and infection that can occur underwater. Fish have scales to protect them, but Octopuses do not have scales, so they have a slime coat. And since they have absolutely no bone structure or bones at all, they feel incredibly soft and tender to feel. Never be afraid to touch an octopus, they don't bite you and don't use their "beak" as a weapon like squids and cuttelfish do as stated by Cousteu.
Just be careful to touch with wet hands. Our hands are too warm and can injure the octopus by damaging that vital slime coat letting in bacteria. Also make sure you have nothing like detergent, hand cream, sun screen etc on your hands as these can damage the octopus skin.
I would dispute the statement "they don't bite you"!! They can and do, sometimes! It depends on the situation and the species. I've been bitten three times by Octopus warringa This species is more inclined to nip than many, but any animal under stress may retaliate!
Ditto - see the later posts in this thread about our feisty octo at Kelly Tarlton's. I think it's more accurate to say that if you don't want them to bite you, it's fairly easy to prevent, but you should never assume that a wild or even domestic animal will categorically not bite you.
The giant pacific octopus at the NRCC used to come up to the surface of his tank when I fed him and would reach out for my hands.... He had a good grip!!! But i never let him hang on for long because he'd slowly work my hand towards his beak... it was a big beak and I wasn't that brave.
I understand that some species will bite, but for the majority...there beaks are never there main weapons in defense or when approaching someone like a human, lol. In many, many cephalopod books...Octopuses have always remained very gentle, and curious/shy animals. Marine Biologists have even stuck there finger towards its mouth, and still no bite. Squids and Cuttlefish have more of an advantage to bite because their beaks aren't hidden beneath a large ring of skin like the Octopus, and they aren't surrounded by it's tentacles, their beaks are more open and seen. I just don't want new Octo-learners or keepers to be afraid of touching one, cuz for the most part...they never ever bite you. And even if they do, there not poisonous...completely harmless. Their poison (nerve venom) only effects certain animals in the ocean or ect...to paralyze them. There poison is too weak to penetrate our skin so never worry. 100% fine to touch...as long as your hands are clean and not full of bacteria. I LOVE touching Octopuses, they feel sooo relaxing and great to touch. Very exotic and unique. I enjoy watching and feeling larger Octopuses than smaller onces cuz larger ones are more experienced as they have lived longer and its very interesting to interact with older Octopuses.
when my octo came out for the second or third time with the lights on he came up to the surface and i opened the lid ans he reached for me. i put my finger down there and he head one hell of a grip. he tried to pull my hang down or pull himself up. but i didnt wanna let him get out and i was kinda scared so i pulled my hand back and he let go and went to the bottom of the glass. im glad to read they wont bite. hopefully next time hes out ill give it another shot as long as u say he should bite. by the way he is a carribean reef octo and his legs are 8 inches and mantle is about 1.5 inches. let me know what you think,
Well, they may bite, but mostly out of curiosity in a case like this. You can avoid being bitten by not letting Waldo float down on your hand and envelop it.
A bimac bite is very minor - I assume a briareus bite is too (and I have Waldo listed as a briareus, right?), because no one has reported being bitten by that species.
However, there is also the remote possibility that you're allergic to the venom, like people are allergic to bee stings. And there are reports of people getting infections from bites or even broken skin in a tank (or in the ocean) - none of our Tonmo octo keepers have reported this.
We had a student allergic to octo venom, she got bitten and went into a full anaphylactic attack, which required a helicopter ride to hospital (we're 30 mins from town on a narrow twisting road). You do need to take some care, after all you won't know if you're allergic till you've been bitten! plus people react in very different ways and have different pain thresholds. Octopus warringa has a painful bite it's rather like a bee or hornet sting but can last as long as three weeks (AND their beaks can easily penetrate skin!)
It is mucous which is made by adding water to very long chain protein molecules. I wrote a wee article for our local paper which can be found in an octopus's den thread called "Tonmo.com makes the Otago Daily Times" or something like that. (Sorry I don't know how to connect the threads directly!!)
I was interested to hear at Tonmocon about the pygmy (and other smaller species of octopus) tending to be more venomous than their larger cousins, although it was also reassuring to learn that unless you tend to have allergic reactions to insect bites and the like, it will be irritating and painful, but not lethal.
yeah, it was great to learn so much about the little guys...couldn't figure out why my hand was so goofed up after being nailed by a M. digueti, until that talk !!!!
information, what a beautiful thing !