Question Sheet: Walktopus


Before reading:

  1. Are octopuses fish? Why or why not? See Almanac for Kids). 
  2. Where can you see an octopus?

During reading:

  1. What was Crissy Huffard’s discovery? 
  2. How do octopuses normally move? 
  3. What’s the common name for Octopus aculeatus
  4. Describe the contribution of Italian researchers to the walking octopus mystery. 
  5. How might research on octopuses influence robot technology? 
  6. How does an octopus try to blend in with its environment?

After reading:

  1. Would you like to be an octopus researcher like Huffard? Why or why not? 
  2. Why does walking normally require a skeleton and bones? See (KidsHealth for Kids) or Health). 
  3. Compared to the other ways in which octopuses move, what advantages might

    walking on two arms have? 

  4. What advantages might a “soft” robot have over a traditional “rigid” robot? 
  5. Come up with two other animals that can disguise themselves as plants. 
  6. Octopuses belong to a class of animals that includes cuttlefish and squid. How do octopuses and squids differ? See (Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre).


Can octopuses be found in any ocean or sea?

How many different species of octopus are there? See (Octopus News Magazine Online) and (David Scheel).


  1. The word octopus has two plural forms: octopuses and octopi. What is the root of the word “octopus”? Why is “octopi” an acceptable plural form of the word? Find two other words that also have plural forms that don’t end in “s” or “es.” 
  2. Suppose that you were assigned to write a news article about research on octopuses. Emily chose to write about the discovery that some octopuses can walk. What other topic about octopuses might you choose to write about? Why do

    you think this topic might be interesting to readers?


David has a bag of gummy octopuses. The bag contains 20 red ones, 12 green ones, and 14 yellow ones. He offers a candy to Daniel. Daniel reaches into the bag without looking. What are the odds that Daniel will pick his favorite candy, a red gummy octopus?