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This work shows tools and methods aiming at carrying out focused research on the octopus arms anatomy and biomechanics to extract new biological information and define specifications for the design of a biomimetic robot inspired to the form and morphology of the octopus. Ultrasound and histological analysis have been used for the anatomical study of the arms. Muscles insertions, connection between the suckers and the arm musculatures, the nervous tissue distribution and arrangement have been well observed and characterized along the arm and under different observational planes (transverse, sagittal and horizontal), using ultrasound and histology. New instruments have been developed for an in vivo and direct, but non-invasive, measurement of the arm mechanical properties. The active elongation (longitudinal strain) and the pulling force capability are measured on different specimens of Octopus vulgaris in order to quantitatively characterize the parameters describing the arm mechanics, for biomimetic design purposes.