Cephalopod (se-fə-lə-päd)

When we were in California, we visited the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. Their special exhibit was Tentacles: The Astounding World of Octopuses, Squids and Cuttlefishes. The exhibit was all about cephalopods. You may ask yourself, what are cephalopods? Cephalopods are a group of marine molluscs that are related to snails and slugs. Octopuses, squids, cuttlefish, and nautili belong in this group. Cephalopods are equipped with breath-taking abilities that allow them to escape predators and, thus, survive. Octopuses in particular are notorious for their ability to disguise themselves; they can change their color and texture up to 20 times in 1 minute! Cephalopod comes from the Greek roots cephalo- meaning head and –pod meaning foot. Cephalopod literally means “head foot.” I think that the name “head foot” is appropriate since cephalopods look like their feet are attached to their head.

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