Welcome to the Abilene Public Library’s Virtual Classroom.  This space will offer a new place for youth, teens, and adults to learn more about a variety of topics, with new content added regularly.

For each class, we'll share background information, educational videos, lesson plans, resources available for continued learning and more. Plus, we’ll offer a link to a test we’d appreciate if you completed to show what you learned!


Octopuses are sea animals famous for their rounded bodies, bulging eyes, and eight long arms. They live in all the world’s oceans but are especially abundant in warm, tropical waters. Octopuses, like their cousin, the squid, are often considered “monsters of the deep,” though some species, or types, occupy relatively shallow waters.

Most octopuses stay along the ocean’s floor, although some species are pelagic, which means they live near the water’s surface. Other octopus species live in deep, dark waters, rising from below at dawn and dusk to search for food. Crabs, shrimps, and lobsters rank among their favorite foods, though some can attack larger prey, like sharks. Octopuses typically drop down on their prey from above and, using powerful suctions that line their arms, pull the animal into their mouth. The octopus performs its famous backward swim by blasting water through a muscular tube on the body called a siphon. Octopuses also crawl along the ocean’s floor, tucking their arms into small openings to search for food. Seals, whales, and large fish prey on octopuses.

National Geographic.  Octopus National Geographic Partners. 16 July, 2021.   https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates


If threatened, octopuses shoot an inky fluid that darkens the water, confusing the aggressor. The octopus can also change to gray, brown, pink, blue, or green to blend in with its surroundings. Octopuses may also change color as a way to communicate with other octopuses. Octopuses are solitary creatures that live alone in dens built from rocks, which the octopus moves into place using its powerful arms. Octopuses sometimes even fashion a rock “door” for their den that pulls closed when the octopus is safely inside.

Copyright © 2015-2021 National Geographic Partners, LLC. All rights reserved

In this epic adventure taking place on two coasts, Jonathan investigates the world's largest octopus, the Giant Pacific Octopus!  He begins by meeting Sy, one of the octopuses at the New England Aquarium in Boston with cold water aquarist Bill Murphy.  Then Jonathan and Bill travel to the Seattle Aquarium to two of their octopuses Lucy and Odie with Seattle Aquarium aquarist Kathryn Kegel.  Bill and Jonathan join Kathryn and her team on some dives in Puget Sound to survey wild octopus populations.  Along the way, Jonathan witnesses an incredible octopus fight and gets a small glimpse into the social lives of the Giant Pacific Octopus!  

Octopuses are marine animals, that live and breath underwater, so at low tide one would expect them to be imprisoned in rocky pools. This extraordinary species found in Northern Australia is like no other Octopus, and land is no obstacle when hunting for crabs

Extraordinary Octopus Takes To Land | The Hunt | BBC Earth

Evolution of Octopus bodies.  
  1. Octopus has no bones and no shells.
  2. They can camouflage themselves instantly.
  3. They have a large brain and extensive nervous system found in their suction cups.  
  4. They have the ability to blend in with their surroundings by changing color, shape and texture.
  5. Octopuses have the ability to play and to plan ahead by collecting items that will help protect it from predators.  

  1. Resources
  2. Lesson Plans 
  3. Test Your Knowledge

cowboy and octopusScieszka, Jon, and Lane Smith. Cowboy & Octopus. , 2007. Print.
Cowboy and Octopus maintain their friendship despite different opinions about things like beans and knock-knock jokes.

Cazet, Denys. The Octopus. , 2005. Print.
Grandpa helps his favorite grandpup to avoid scratching his chicken pox by telling how he once had to fight off an octopus during a terrible storm.
uh ohLieshout, Elle , Erik . Os, and Mies . Hout. Uh-oh Octopus!, 2015. Print.
When a small octopus arrives home one day to find an intruder barricading his entrance, he asks other sea creatures for advice on what to do about the situation.

Montgomery, Sy, and Amy Schimler-Safford. Inky's Amazing Escape: How a Very Smart Octopus Found His Way Home. , 2018. Print.
"The story of how in April 2016, Inky the octopus escaped from the New Zealand aquarium and became an international sensation."-
octopus researchMontgomery, Sy, and Keith A. Ellenbogen. The Octopus Scientists: Exploring the Mind of a Mollusk. , 2015. Print.


Sammann, Stephanie. The Insane Biology of: The Octopus. Real Science.

Nov 14, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFP_AjJeP-M

BBC Earth.Extraordinary Octopus Takes To Land | The Hunt | BBC Earth

23 Jul, 2017.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebeNeQFUMa0

National Geographic.  Octopus. National Geographic Partners. 16 July, 2021.   https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/facts/octopus

Blue World.  Giant Pacific Octopus Adventure. Jonathan Bird's Blue World.

6, Jan 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZpxDo_6-rA&t=91s