North Pacific Giant Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) - Wiki
North Pacific Giant Octopus
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[Photo] North Pacific Giant Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) observed off Pt Pinos at a depth of 65 meters. A Pacific Giant Octopus (Enteroctopus dolfeini) was observed off Pt Pinos in August 2004 at a depth of 65 meters during sanctuary seafloor monitoring surveys using the Delta submersible. Source http://www.mbnms-simon.org/other/photos/photo_info.php?photoID=1224&search=inverts&s=560&page=29 Date 15. August 2005. Author NOAA/R. N. Lea
The North Pacific Giant Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) is a large cephalopod belonging to the genus Enteroctopus. It can be found in the coastal Pacific Northwest and is arguably the largest octopus species, based on a scientific record of a 71 kg (156.5 lb) individual weighed live. The alternative contender is the Seven-arm Octopus based on a 61 kg (134 lb) carcass estimated to have a live mass of 75 kg (165 lb). However, there are a number of questionable size records that would suggest it is the largest of all octopus species by a considerable margin.
Size and description
The North Pacific Giant Octopus, or the Giant Pacific Octopus, are distinguished from other species by their sheer size. Adults usually weigh around 15 kg (33 lb), with an arm span of up to 4.3 m (14 ft). However, there are highly questionable records of specimens up to 272 kg (600 lb) in weight with a 9 m (30 ft) arm span. The mantle, or "head", of the octopus is spherical in shape and contains most of the animal's major organs. The skin of the octopus is somewhat smooth and by contracting or expanding tiny pigments in its cells an octopus can change the color of its skin, giving it the ability to blend into the environment.
Giant Pacific Octopuses are considered extremely intelligent for invertebrates, capable of solving complex puzzles. Among other things, some species of octopus have been reported to unscrew jar lids to retrieve food and mimic the behaviors of other octopuses (the latter claim is controversial).
This species of octopus commonly preys upon shrimp, crabs, scallops, abalones, clams, and fish. It procures food with its suckers, which is then crushed with its tough "beaks" of chitin. They have also been observed catching sharks.
Marine mammals such as the Harbor Seal, Sea Otter, and Sperm Whale depend upon the North Pacific Giant Octopus as a source of food. The octopus is also commercially fished in the United States.
The North Pacific Giant Octopus is considered to be short-lived for an animal its size, with life spans that average only 3-5 years in the wild. To make up for its relatively short life span, the octopus is extremely prolific. It can lay up to 100,000 eggs which are intensively cared for by the females. Hatchlings are about the size of a grain of rice and only a handful make it to adulthood.
Very little is known about the population of this solitary creature and the North Pacific Giant Octopus is not currently under the protection of CITES or the ICUN Redlist. However, this is an animal sensitive to water pollution and may depend upon conservation efforts for future survival.
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