Dangerous Fish of Florida Waters

Dangerous Fish of Florida Waters


  • Dangerous Fish of Florida Waters

Published Date

  • published 1940


have made everyone fairly familiar with their characteristics, but story
writers sometimes sacrifice the facts to make their tales interesting,
thereby leaving false impressions in an effort to be entertaining. (3 p.

It is true that the octopus grows to great size but not large enough
to attack a ship. The largest octopus has a spread of but 15 or 20 feet
and, far from being aggressive, it is actually timid and very easily
frightened. It does not even like to leave its hiding place among the rocks
to go after food but prefers to wait in dark places until some marine animal
small enough for it to over-power passes by. For the larger fish prey upon
the octopus and even the largest of the formidable-looking poulpes will, in
the face of danger, retreat to some cavern of crevice, covering its flight by
ejecting a cloud of opaque sepia. (3 p. 157)

The average octopus is but half the size of the largest measured
and those common around the Keys are even smaller. But even a small
octopus, when cornered or molested, will put up a good fight. A. Hyatt
Verrill, spent a great deal of time collecting and studying sea shells,
related how he narrowly escaped death when a four-feet specimen,
which he had grasped, became pugnacious. Verrill was collecting marine
specimens by diving for them in shallow water. The octopus which gave
him so much trouble was crawling along the bottom at a depth of about
10 feet when Verrill seized it.*

*Strange Sea Shells and Their Stories by A. Hyatt Verrill,
L. C. Page & Co., 1936.