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Name: Dan
Status: other
Age: other
Location: IL
Country: N/A
Date: 10/12/2005

Giant squid are normally described at having two long feeding tentacles and eight arms. The octopus is said to have 8 arms, not 8 tentacles. What are the scientific definitions of the two, and the distinctions between them? Most of what I've been able to find says that tentacles are longer than arms, but seems like an arbitrary distinction, one that could not be make in the absence of other appendages for comparison. Some sources say that tentacles "usually" have suckers only at the ends, but that, again, isn't definitive enough. Any help? Thanks.

Normally the two words are used interchangably in an octopus. All eight arms (tentacles) have suction cups from the tip upward toward the body to help them climb and grab their prey.

Grace Fields

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