Octopus Eyes: Everything You Need To Know About Cephalopod Vision!

With so many of you asking us questions about octopus eyes and their vision on our Facebook and Instagram posts, we wanted to share some more fun facts about cephalopods and their eyesight!

They use their pupil dilation in many ways! Octopuses are expertly adapted to their environment on so many levels with pupil dilation & constriction being just another incredible trick up their sleeve.

Fun Fact

Pupil dilation also helps octopuses camouflage! They do this by constricting their pupils, making their skin more uniform helping them blend into their surrounding environment.

With octopuses, each pupil is controlled by 7 extraocular muscles, each controlled by its own nerve. This allows them to rotate their eyes by up to 80 degrees in either direction.

Octopus eyes can act independently of one another

When you say they have big eyes… how big are we talkin’? Relative to their body size, octopuses generally have large eyes. Take the Common Octopus (Octopus vulgaris) as an example!

Their eye diameter ranges between 15-20 mm (~0.5 – 1 inch) and their average weight is around 300-400 grams (~ 0.6 lbs).

They are colorblind…but can see color!

Octopus eyes contain one type of light receptor, which only allows them to see black and white.

Fun Fact

Octopuses have dumbbell-shaped pupils that act as prisms, scattering white light and splitting it into its color components. This effect is called chromatic aberration!

Octopus can see you and remember you

Octopus possess short and long-term memory, which means they can observe and remember people and various animals.

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