Do octopuses have teeth?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Do octopuses have teeth?” and provide information on whether octopuses use their beaks, parts of an octopus beak, how they eat, what they eat as well as whether they have bones. 

Do octopuses have teeth?

No, octopuses do not have teeth. Octopuses cannot chew or bite food. However, instead of teeth, the octopus has a beak. This beak can be used to break clam or oyster shells. Once the shells are broken open, they can remove the organisms present in them.

Apart from this, octopuses have a tongue which is called a radula. The radula has spikes on them which can help them to break down any food that they consume including shrimps, sharks, fish, and birds.

How does octopus use their beaks?

The octopus can use their beak as a weapon for attacking prey. Usually, octopus captures their prey using tentacles and then strikes them using their beak. The beak can be used to break shells and suck the organisms present inside these shells.

Octopuses have a mouth that might not be much visible. It is present at the center portion wherein all limbs of the octopus meet. Despite being small, it is capable of tearing the flesh of its prey.

There are salivary glands present behind the octopus’ beak. This can also help in breaking the shells of snails or other crustaceans. Apart from this, it can secrete poison which can help in paralyzing its prey.

What are parts of an octopus’ beak?

There are two primary portions of an octopus beak. This includes the upper portion as well as the lower portion of the beak. Both parts of the beak contain an outer section called a hood and an inner section called a wall.

There are also two parts called a bridge and a shoulder. These two parts can help in holding this beak together.

The radula is termed the tongue of an octopus. It is located between the beak and poison glands. Radula helps in the removal of prey’s body and sucking them out from their shells.

It has tiny teeth located on the side of the tongue. These teeth-like structures are called denticles. Denticles are made from dentin. This dentin is not bone but has a structure harder than bone.

The salivary papilla is present below the radula. It is like a drill that can help in removing poisons located around the prey’s shell and further aid in the removal of prey.

How do octopuses eat?

Octopuses use suckers to hold prey. They can use tentacles to grab prey and prevent them from escaping. Below the tentacles, there are suction cups present. These suction cups are sticky which can help in holding onto prey. 

Once the octopuses have the prey in their mouth, they secrete poison to numb them. This prevents the prey from excessively moving around and the octopus can easily eat them. The food moves from the esophagus to the digestive tract.

Octopuses usually hunt for their prey during nighttime. This can help them to sneak and capture prey. It can also aid them in camouflaging themselves.

What do octopuses eat?

Octopuses are carnivorous. They eat shrimps, snails, cramps, clams, worms, and mollusks. Some octopuses can prey on prawns, fishes, and cephalopods.

Do octopuses have bones?

No, octopuses do not have bones. They are invertebrates that do not have bones or a vertebral spine. This can make them easier to move. Octopuses can go inside small crevices or spaces as they lack bones. This makes them more versatile.

The arms of an octopus’ body contain muscles. This can aid them in moving around. Their arms can also help in grabbing objects.

Where do octopuses live?

Octopuses can live in marine habitats. It can live close to coral reefs. Juvenile octopuses can stay close to shallow tide pools. Some octopuses can live in deep waters.

An octopus has a short life span of just six months. However, some octopuses can survive for 2 years. Giant Pacific octopuses have the longest lifespan as they can live for 5 years. 

What are some behavioral characteristics of octopus?

Octopuses are solitary animals. Once they capture their prey, they drag the prey towards a den or secluded area and feast on them. 

Sometimes, they can end up killing larger prey which can be too much for them to consume. As a result, uneaten or leftover food can be found lying around in some areas.


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Do octopuses have teeth?” and provided information on whether octopuses use their beaks, parts of an octopus beak, how they eat, what they eat as well as whether they have bones. 


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