Sunday, April 1, 2012

Octopus, squid, and cuttlefish: What's the difference?

What is the difference between octopus, squid, and cuttlefish?

Chinese Wikipedia and Simple English Wikipedia give us useful information:

Cuttlefish 烏賊,本名烏賊為俗寫,又稱花枝、墨鬥魚或墨魚,是軟體動物門頭足綱烏賊目的動物。 與魷魚不同的是,烏賊有一船形石灰質的硬鞘。 烏賊的最大特色是它遇到強敵時會以「噴墨」作為逃生的方法,伺機離開,因而有「烏賊」、「墨魚」等名稱。皮膚中有色素小囊,會隨「情緒」的變化而改變顏色和大小。
Simple English Wikipedia: Cuttlefish are marine (海洋) Cephalopod (cephalo = head, pod =
foot 頭足綱) molluscs (軟體動物). They belong to the same class as squid, octopuses and the nautilus. Cuttlefish have an internal shell (called a cuttlebone), large eyes, and eight arms and two tentacles furnished with finely toothed suckers, with which they grab their prey. Cuttlefish eat small molluscs, crabs, shrimp, fish and other cuttlefish. Various sharks and fish prey on them. They live about 1 to 2 years.

Squid 魷魚,又稱句公、柔魚或槍烏賊,是軟體動物門頭足綱管魷目開眼亞目的動物。
Simple English Wikipedia: Squid, like cuttlefish, have eight arms arranged in pairs, and two longer tentacles with suckers.

Octopus 章魚,又稱八爪魚
Simple English Wikipedia: Octopuses have two eyes and four pairs of arms equipped with suckers. An octopus has a hard beak, and its mouth is at the center point of the arms.

Look at the pictures and take notes. 
You will be tested on the different names (English and Chinese).
Cuttlefish: 烏賊 Notice the fat body and shorter "arms" (tentacles): Cuttlefish, wwarby, CC BY, -AT- N00-4695864776

Octopus: 章魚 They only have eight "arms" (tentacles): Octopus fanned-out, caviness CC BY-NC-ND, -AT- N00/3242315

Squid: 魷魚 Notice how they have eight arms and two longer tentacles (like cuttlefish), but a longer body. Two Humboldt Squid, kqedquest, CC BY-NC, -AT- N00-2364117497

Only cuttlefish have a cuttlebone: ('Cuttlefish shell with drill hole') Paul J. Morris, CC BY-SA, -AT- N06-3052287581


  1. I don't like cook, so,these three kind of pics let me understand what they are. even the name in chinese, maybe I still can't realize what are them. thank you teacher to show them to us. very special to me.

  2. It's interesting to understand these three differences. I think just few people know it clearly. I know that all the in Chinese but not in English. I don't know the cuttlefish at first, after your introduction then I know it all.

  3. Their other names often confused me. But I can identify them when I see their pictures or bodies. And I used to help my Mom cooked them for our meal.

  4. This is cool, only octopus I can recognize although we have being eating these food for years. I never know what's the differences among Cuttlefish and squid, because all the time we can see their shapes only dead or have been cooked. So they look all the same, it look white and chewing taste. Perhaps only moms know them well.

  5. After reading this paper, finally I realize different form these three seafood.

  6. really cool info need more info