Giant Pacific Octopus
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.