Giant Pacific Octopus

Enteroctopus doflenini

About This Animal

SIZE: Arm span to 12 feet or more; average weight 50lbs

RANGE: Northern Pacific Ocean from California to Japan

HABITAT: Rocky or coral reefs; from shallow intertidal to 5,000 feet deep

DIET: Typically shellfish, crab, lobster, but will feed on a variety of prey

ON EXHIBIT:  Boneless Beauties at Ocean Journey

The giant Pacific octopus is the largest known octopus species. Like many octopi, the giant Pacific octopus has the ability to drastically change the color and texture of its skin.  These abilities not only help the octopus camouflage, but they can also be used to communicate warnings to other octopi. Octopuses establish dens in crevices and under rocks. They use dens to lay eggs and hide from predators. Their soft, fleshy bodies lack shells, allowing them to squeeze into tiny spaces.

Octopi are intelligent and highly adaptable animals. At the Aquarium, the octopi are given puzzles to solve such as a lidded jar with a piece of food inside. The octopi quickly learn to unscrew the tops of the jars to get to the food inside.