The giant Pacific octopus, scientifically known as Enteroctopus dofleini, is one of the largest cephalopods in the ocean. On average, an adult is 4.5 meters (15 feet) from the tip of one arm to another. Each of its eight arms can be covered with up to 280 adhesive suckers, which are used to sense, to taste, and to detect their next meal.
The octopus commonly preys on marine life such as clams, lobster, and fish. Its mouth, which is found at the apex of its arms, has a beak, used to take apart its prey. It also can release a toxin from its mouth to partially paralyze and digest prey, making it easier to pull apart.
The predator becomes prey for a variety of marine animals, including sea otters, great white sharks, harbor seals, and humans. They are commercially fished in North America and parts of Asia, including Japan, both for food and as bait for fishermen (attracting species such as Pacific halibut).
The giant Pacific octopus inhabits colder Pacific ocean water near the coasts of Asia, in the area of Japan and the Korean Peninsula, north to Russia and east to Alaska, and south along the Canadian and U.S. coasts. They are benthic creatures, hunting along the seafloor, and can be found in a range of depths from shallow intertidal areas to more than 1,000 meters (3,280 feet).
Although the population of giant Pacific octopus is not considered endangered, it is important to prioritize the health of intertidal ecosystems and minimize threats such as pollution, habitat degradation from human development, and overharvesting of marine species that the octopus needs to prey upon.
How many eggs does a giant Pacific octopus typically lay at a time?
How might ocean acidification affect the amount of available prey for the giant Pacific octopus?
Octopuses are known to be the grouping of invertebrates with the highest intelligence. What are some examples to show this?
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry benthic Adjective
having to do with the bottom of a deep body of water.
to put at risk.
to target, victimize, or devour.
process of attracting a substance to a region of lower pressure.