In this article, we’ll answer the question:
“What do octopuses eat?”
First, you’ll find a short summary of what octopuses eat in nature, then get a list of an octopus’s favorite foods that make up a typical octopus diet. And finally, answers to common questions about octopus feeding habits and nutrition.
An octopus is a soft-bodied, eight-limbed mollusc of the order Octopoda that is grouped in the class Cephalopoda. Octopuses inhabit various regions of the ocean, including coral reefs, pelagic waters, and the seabed.
What Do Octopuses Eat?
Octopuses eat crabs, clams, small fishes, snails, and even other octopuses. However, a newly hatched octopus diet is limited to small foods, such as larval crabs, sea stars, and copepods. An octopus diet is determined by the availability of prey in its habitat.
Octopus Diet (Favorite Foods)
- Small fishes
- Sea stars
- Other octopuses
How Often Does an Octopus Eat?
An octopus often eats every day, but certain species eat every four days. A female octopus can go for up to a month without food when brooding eggs and die due to starvation.
According to National Geographic, female octopuses gently waft current over their eggs to ensure a continuous supply of fresh, oxygenated water without leaving or eating.
How Much Do Octopuses Eat Per Day?
Octopuses eat up to six pounds of food a day, translating to around 2% to 4% of their body weight. Because of their fast growth rate, an octopus will gain about three pounds every day from eating six pounds of food per day.
How Long Can Octopuses Live Without Food?
Octopuses can live up to a month without food. The duration that an octopus can live without food depends on the species, size, and reproductive condition. Female octopuses will stop eating after four days of brooding.
Do Octopuses Eat Meat?
Octopuses do eat meat because they are carnivores. Bottom-dwelling octopuses capture their prey with acute visual or tactile cues and inject venom into their bodies using beaks.
Do Octopuses Eat Humans?
Octopuses do eat humans and can easily attack a human of average size if they choose to. However, octopuses generally avoid humans unless they are being provoked in the ocean.
Do Octopuses Eat Each Other?
Octopuses do eat each other because they are cannibalistic animals. The giant pacific octopus is known to brutally murder and eat each other after sex.
What Animals Eat Octopuses?
Octopuses are prey to a few different species.
You can visit our other guide on what animals eat octopuses to find out which predators actively feed on these marine animals.
Octopus Eating Habits and Diet Summary
You now know what do octopuses eat in the wild as well as the typical food in an octopus’s diet.
As you discovered in this guide, octopuses are carnivores that prey on various species for nutrition with an octopus’s favorite food being things like crabs, shrimps, and lobsters.
I’m the lead editor and writer for Animal Answer Guide. I enjoy sharing expert knowledge on the various characteristics of common species within the five distinct groups of animals: amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles.