Do octopuses eat themselves

A common belief is that when stressed, an octopus may start to eat its own arms. Though, limited research conducted in this area has discovered that the cause of this abnormal behavior might be a virus called "autophagy" that attacks the octopus's nervous system. Thus this behavior might be more correctly labeled as a neurological disorder.

It was not even strange that octopuses missing limbs often died within a few weeks. Any serious injury can kill an animal and not every survival strategy works long-term. Then scientists, pet owners, and even aquariums saw their own octopuses lose their arms. Observation displayed that the octopuses missing limbs did not break their limbs off - they ate their own arms.

Tip! Learn all you wanted to know about common octopuses with pictures, videos, photos, facts, and news from National Geographic.

Updated on Monday, July 20 2015 at 11:58AM EDT
Collection: octopus