The common octopus is a mollusc belonging to the class Cephalopoda. Octopus vulgaris is the most studied of all octopus species. It is cosmopolitan, that is, a global species, which ranges from the eastern Atlantic, extends from the Mediterranean Sea and the southern coast of England, to the southern coast of South Africa. It also occurs off the Azores, Canary Islands, and Cape Verde Islands. The species is also common in the Western Atlantic. The common octopus hunts at dusk. Crabs, crayfish, and bivalve molluscs are preferred, although the octopus eats almost anything it can catch. It is able to change colour to blend in with its surroundings, and is able to jump upon any unwary prey that strays across its path. Using its beak, it is able to break into the shells of shelled molluscs. Training experiments have shown the common octopus can distinguish the brightness, size, shape, and horizontal or vertical orientation of objects.
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