Octopuses and their relatives (squids, nautiluses, and cuttlefish) are strange creatures of the sea. Octopuses are famously known for their eight long arms, covered with hundreds of suction cups that they use to move around and pick things up. Their bodies allow for them to do amazing things, but do octopus have bones? I guess the proper spelling would be, do octopuses have bones?

In this article, we will answer the question on whether or not octopuses have bones in addition to other questions people have about octopus bones (or lack thereof). Read on for more information about the anatomy of one of the ocean’s most intelligent animals.

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Do octopus have bones?

No, octopuses do not have bones because they are invertebrates. Invertebrates are all animals that lack a vertebral column or spine and other bones.

There are many different types of invertebrates, such as insects, crabs, snails, sea sponges, jellyfish, worms, and animals found in the cephalopoda class such as squids, cuttlefish, nautiluses, and octopuses.

Common Octopus

Do octopuses have exoskeletons?

Some invertebrates have chitinous exoskeletons or shells that act as armor and provide protection and support. Some invertebrates like snails lack an exoskeleton but have a shell to protect them. Octopuses on the other hand lack both an internal and exoskeleton.

The lack of skeletal structure for octopuses has also meant that there are hardly any fossils of octopuses, which makes the evolution of octopuses even more of a mystery.

Are there octopus fossils?

We are all familiar with the discoveries of fossilized dinosaur bones that have allowed for scientists to learn more about how these giants looked like in prehistoric times. Fossil records can also help scientists learn more about the species on earth today and how they differ from their ancient counterparts.

But finding fossils of animals that lack bones is obviously a bit more tricky. Bones tend to withstand the test of time while softer structures and tissues typically do not.

When an octopus dies, the body turns into essentially a slimy mass of dissolved tissues and skin over the course of a few days, that is if they aren’t eaten first by scavengers. You can probably see how this would make finding octopus fossils incredibly difficult!

Octopus fossils are some of the rarest and hardest to find. But miraculously, scientists have managed to find fossils from octopuses that are 95 million years old! These fossils show the presence of eight legs, suckers and even ink.

5 fun facts about octopuses

1. The proper term for more than one octopus is octopuses, not octopi like what is commonly believed

2. Octopuses are actually venomous. Octopuses have venom in their saliva that they use to paralyze their prey. Luckily only one species, the Blue-ringed Octopus is the only octopus known to be deadly to humans.

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3. There are around 300 different species of octopuses found throughout the world

4. The biggest species of octopus is the Giant Pacific Octopus. The largest specimen recorded was over 600 pounds and measured 300 feet across in length!

5. Octopuses are incredibly intelligent! In fact they have been known to solve problems, navigate mazes and even make extravagant escapes from their enclosures


Out of all the weird and wonderful animals in the world, octopuses are certainly high up on the list. They have eight arms covered with suction cups that even without being supported by a skeletal system are strong and capable of doing amazing things. One perk of not having bones is that in addition to being incredibly strong and flexible, octopuses can also regrow or regenerate severed limbs!

The fact that octopuses have no bones has made understanding the evolution of octopuses even more difficult, adding to the mystery of these strange creatures. One thing is clear though, octopuses and their relatives are an incredible group of sea animals that captivate and intrigue many, and for good reason.