Octopus vs Squid Anatomy
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.
Click here to return to the Zoology Archives
Update: June 2012