Cephalopods are in the phylum Mollusca, from the Latin mollis – soft. All molluscs have a soft body, although some are protected by a hard external shell. Molluscs include commonly known animals such as snails and oysters, as well as the less commonly known sea-butterflies and chitons.
Cephalopods are the most physically and behaviourally advanced of the molluscs. They are found throughout the world’s oceans and many live at depths shallower than 200m, while some go as deep as 1200m. They range in size from a few centimetres, such as the Hawaiian bobtail squid, to an estimated 20m for the giant squid (the length of 2.5 London buses). They show a range of adaptations that have made them successful in their carnivorous lifestyles. Many are active and ferocious predators, others are ‘sit-and-wait’ predators.
Your organisation does not have access to this article.
Sign up today to give your students the edge they need to achieve their best grades with subject expertiseSubscribe