12 Difference between Squid and Octopus (With Table)

Squid and octopus are aquatic creatures that have close similarities. These aquatic creatures offer a great meal in European and Asian restaurants.

There are about 300 species of squids and 300 species of octopus in the ocean. They both belong to the Cephalopoda class.

So, what is the main difference between squid and octopus? A squid has a stiff backbone-like structure in the body while an octopus has no bone in the body.

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Comparison Table between Squid and Octopus

Basic Terms Squid Octopus
Habitat Open sea Seafloor
Lifespan 9 months to 5 years 1 to 3 years
Size Grow between 60 cm to 20 meters long Grow between 1 cm to 9 meters long
Shell Have stiff backbone-like structure in the body Have no bone in the body
Anatomy Has sucker rings, 2 fins, a mantle, head, 8 arms, and 2 tentacles Has a mantle, head, and 8 arms
Diet Feed on fish and shrimp Feed on bottom-dwelling Crustaceans.
Hunting Tricks Use the two long tentacles to catch the prey Catch the prey and inject venom to paralyze them.
How they live May either live in solitary or in school Tend to live in solitary due to their nature
Fins Have two fins Have no fins
Order Teuthida Octopoda
Superorder Decapodiformes Octopodiformes
Description It is a head-footed animal with 8 arms and two tentacles arrange in pairs It is a head-footed animal with 8 arms and no tentacles.
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What Is a Squid?

A squid is an aquatic creature that belongs to the cephalopod. Head-footed animals tend to live in the open sea. This implies that they can be found in the shallower region of the sea and also a deeper region of the sea.

The creature feed on fish and shrimps. They use their long tentacles to catch the prey. The animal has a mantle, two fins, eight arms, and two tentacles marked with sucker rings.

The squid has a bone-like structure in the body. These creatures form a great cuisine in European and Asian restaurants. They contain high-quality proteins for human bodies.

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What Is an Octopus?

An octopus is a head-footed creature that belongs to the cephalopod. The aquatic animal mainly lives at the bottom of the sea. The seafloor creatures tend to feed on crustaceans.

They catch their prey by grabbing using their eight arms and injecting venom for paralyzing them. The venom tends to loosen the meat for easy eating.

The body lacks a bone-like structure. They are also suitable for human consumption. They are a great delicacy in many European and Asian hotels.


Main Differences between Squid and Octopus 

  1. Squid has a stiff structure in their body while octopus does not have a pen in their body.
  2. Squid use the two long tentacles to catch the prey while octopus uses their arms to grab the prey and inject venom
  3. Squid has a larger body size while octopuses tend to be smaller
  4. Squid feed on fish and shrimp while octopus feed on crustacean
  5. Squids have a longer lifespan while octopuses have a shorter lifespan
  6. Octopus are found on the seafloor while squid dwell in the open sea
  7. Squids have two fins on their head while octopus does not have fins
  8. Squids have two tentacles arranged in pairs while octopus has no tentacles
  9. Squids can either live in school or solitary while octopuses tend to live alone due to their solitary nature
  10. The order of octopus is Octopoda while that of the squid is Teuthida
  11. The suborder of the squid is Decapodiformes while that of the octopus is Octopodiformes
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Similarities between Squid and Octopus

  1. Both live in salty water
  2. Both belong to Cephalopoda
  3. Both are aquatic creatures
  4. Both offer a great cuisine
  5. Both have eight arms

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Squid and Octopus the Same Thing?

Absolutely. Both are head-footed animals but they differ in their physical appearance, habitat, and general behavior.

Can Squids and Octopus Mate?

No. Male squids swim and deposit sperms on the body of the female which later opts to accept or reject. But octopus mating behavior is quite different.

Why Does Squid Die After Mating?

Female squids lay eggs in clumps and this is the reason why they die immediately after releasing the eggs. The male squids die shortly after mating. Squids tend to lay eggs once.

Do Octopus Die After Laying Eggs?

Octopus are semelparous animals. These are animals that reproduce and die afterward. Female octopus releases eggs then quit eating to waste away until hatching takes place. Sometimes, female octopus feeds on their mates.

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Do Octopus Have Brains?

Yes. Octopus has nine brains and three hearts. The central brain of the octopus tends to control the nervous system. Each arm has a small amount of brain and cluster of nerves for enhancing movement.

Does Squid Have A Brain?

Absolutely. The head-footed animal has a high level of the developed nervous system and sense organs. Squids are invertebrates with complex brains.

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Comparison Video


Squids and octopus are common seafood in Europe and Asia. The main distinction between octopus and squids is that squids have a longer lifespan while octopus has a shorter lifespan.

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More Sources and References

  1. Squid. Wikipedia
  2. Octopus. Science Daily.