Of the Octopus

The octopus is a stupid creature, for it will approach a man's hand if it be lowered in the water; but it is neat and thrifty in its habits: that is, it lays up stores in its nest, and, after eating up all that is eatable, it ejects the shells and sheaths of crabs and shell-fish, and the skeletons of little fishes. It seeks its prey by so changing its colour as to render it like the color of the stones adjacent to it; it does so also when alarmed. The octopus as a rule does not live the year out. It has a natural tendency to run off into liquid; for, if beaten and squeezed, it keeps losing substance and at last disappears.

Aristoteles, 350 BC


From: On the Gait of Animals
By Aristotle
Written 350 B.C.E
Translated by A. S. L. Farquharson
http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/gait_anim.html