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Your email address will not be published. ", University of Lethbridge animal psychologist Jennifer Mather, a pioneering researcher into octopus cognition and personality, sees octopuses as "the poster child for invertebrate animal welfare"—worthy of the same rights as animals that look more like us. Populations of giant Pacific octopus are thought to be stable in the north Pacific and increased popularity in the human food market has increased their value as by … Sometimes, an individual would spend in a cave for weeks, crawling out only when hungry. "If anything,” says the sales manager at one aquarium-animal import company who requested anonymity because he was speaking without authorization, “I’ve seen a downturn over the years.". After mating, a female will lay up to 74,000 eggs or more in a deep den or cave and live there for seven months watching over them. Little is known about the behavior of these enigmatic creatures. Internal Morphology: Like other octopuses, these are cool-blooded creatures, with three hearts that control their intricate circulatory and nervous systems, and nine brains to control different movements; the color of the blood is blue. This may be in part because some aquarium shops have stopped what Rich Ross, a former senior biologist at San Francisco's Steinhart Aquarium calls “supermarket-style” stocking of exotic pets. Caldwell recounts a close escape. The giant Pacific octopus is the biggest octopus species. Blue rings carry enough nerve toxin to kill 10 or more humans. When he began his research, he kept his octopuses in bare containers. James Wood also hails the idea. The giant Pacific octopus, is one of two largest species of octopus, may live for as much as five years however all animals live longer in their own environments. The Giant Pacific Octopus (or, the North Pacific Giant Octopus) is the world’s largest and longest-living octopus species that are known for their high intelligence. Before a courtship can begin between two octopuses, they first need to find each other. Meanwhile, Ross warns, the apparent recent lull in octopus imports could reverse at any time, especially because most of the species people want, including mimics and wunderpuses, come from weakly regulated collectors in Indonesia and the Philippines—the Wild West of marine wildlife collecting. How do species like the mimic octopus camouflage themselves? For octopuses, mating is a pretty subdued affair. The specimen had fleshy frills, bumpy ridges all over the body, and two white spots on the head. Let’s just get it out there right off the bat—this species holds the record for the largest … [ Average Weight: 22 – 26.5 lbs. By and by, the juveniles get drifted by the ocean current for about three months, feeding only on planktons. One of those pop-ups is the octopuses themselves. Other vendors still offer them, even online. The adult giant Pacific octopus weighs around 33 lbs. Photograph by David Liittschwager, Nat Geo Image Collection. Lifespan The average longevity of the Giant Pacific Octopus is 4.5 to 5 years in both captivity and the wild. The giant Pacific octopus is considered to be long-lived compared to other species, with lifespans typically 3–5 years in the wild. Once this task is completed, it will die. “Octopuses are very charismatic,” says James Wood, a marine biologist turned aquarium operator based near Palm Beach, Florida. After birth, the baby octopuses would measure about a quarter of an inch, weighing around 22 milligrams. Eggs are coated in chorion, and the female attache… The organization cheers the celebrated flight of an octopus called Inky from New Zealand's National Aquarium in 2016: "His bold escape should send a message to aquariums to keep their tentacles off octopuses for good. This species of octopus is the largest of 300+ known octopus species. She felt "something soft and squishy" inside one rock oyster shell. During this time, it leads a solitary existence, breeding only one time. The striped, or wunderpus, octopus was discovered in the 1980s. The Giant Pacific Octopus: Enteroctopus dofleini. During mating, he inserts the rope of sperm, called a spermatophore, into the female’s oviduct. The giant Pacific octopus starts life as tiny as a grain of rice, living in the surface water of the oceans for the first three months of their life. Even so, it’s unclear whether all the fascination is hurting octopuses. An adult of these cephalopods has enough strength to move more than 700 pounds. The average longevity of the Giant Pacific Octopus is 4.5 to 5 years in both captivity and the wild. The vision is exceptionally sharp. Just this month, the season premiere of PBS’s Nature series, "Octopus: Making Contact," told the endearing tale of the close relationship between an Alaskan professor and his daughter and their pet octopus. The giant Pacific octopus is a very intelligent animal that can learn to open jars, play with toys and interact with — and even recognize — its handlers. Wunderpus and mimic octopuses are the ultimate quick-change artists, hiding in plain sight by impersonating everything from rocks and seaweed to sea snakes and lionfish. However, the smaller and the young ones often fall prey to other octopuses, sea otters, seals, wolf eels, lingcod, halibuts, minks, diving birds and humans (fishermen). Giant Pacific Octopus Habitat It would be something along the lines of various angler's groups and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which represents public institutions. U.S. imports of the highly venomous greater blue-ringed octopus have outpaced those of all other species, according to the sparse available records. Although there is no directed fishery for octopus in Alaska, octopus, in particular, the giant Pacific octopus, are caught incidentally in Alaskan commercial trawl, longline and pot fisheries. The Seattle Aquarium holds an annual Valentine’s Day party to mark the would-be mating of its giant Pacific octopuses (the world's largest species, sometimes weighing more than 100 pounds, with an arm span of up to 20 feet). The length of time that passes between hatching, reproduction and death varies among octopus species. The male members in this species die within a few months of mating, while the females die shortly after the eggs hatch. The giant Pacific octopus or ‘Enteroctopus Dofleini’ is the biggest known octopus species. "The U.S. and other countries do not have any system in place to monitor the trade and provide data" for wildlife, such as octopuses, not listed under CITES. They can protect them by changing their colors and patterns so accurately that they can blend themselves with the environment, including the minutely-detailed corals, rocks, and plants on the seabed. And at aquariums around the world, octopuses are reliable crowd pleasers. The giant Pacific octopus, like all species of octopus, have eight arms on top of which sit a bulbous ‘mantle’. The U.S. They quickly became the darlings of the nature programs. A DNA analysis has suggested that this octopus might have three subspecies, with one being in Alaska, one in Japan, and the third one in Puget Sound, though nothing has been officially confirmed as yet. That’s partly because records of imports of cephalopods to the United States are spotty and out of date. This stage on an average lasts for 30-90 days. Both the sexes can breed year round. The giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) is often cited as the largest known octopus species. Maori Octopus. Giant Pacific Octopus Take a close look at one of the most elusive and fascinating sea creatures found in Puget Sound: the giant Pacific octopus. Instead, they’re adopting custom ordering, which reduces excess shipments of animals and therefore mortality. They’re master escape artists, able to slop through thin cracks and out of all but the most securely sealed tanks—one of many traits that make them uniquely challenging and costly animals to keep. These animals are not at all aggressive (but somewhat shy and timid), and would rarely attack or bite humans unless threatened. The ink of this animal is poisonous. The female Giant Pacific Octopus is an example of genuine parental care, guarding the eggs for almost seven months until they hatch. The reclusive, delicate mimic octopus doesn’t do well. However, if it knew just what was waiting for it soon after, it might think twice. The male dies a few months afterwards, while female dies shortly after the eggs hatch. The adult or relatively larger octopuses practically do not have predators. Another celebrated octopus presents a different concern. The giant Pacific octopus is the longest-lived octopus species, usually living 3 to 5 years in the wild. A few species have fla… "Life in a tank is no life at all for sensitive, intelligent octopuses," declares People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. You guessed it: it’s the octopus! Scientists have … “This is not an animal to be taken on lightly.” The fact that octopuses seem very intelligent deters some people, who have qualms about treating them badly, from buying them. Common octopuses, for example, may live only two years, while giant octopuses can live as long as three years but up to five years as long as they don't mate. But much remains unknown about them, especially about mimics, including how many inhabit the shallow seabeds off Sulawesi, Indonesia, and other Indo-Pacific islands where they’re found. Giant pacific octopus (Enteroctopus Dofleini) is a long-lived and large cephalopod. The primary diet of the Giant Octopus includes various fishes, crabs, clams, cockles, fish eggs, abalone, scallops, other octopuses, marine birds like seagulls, and even small sharks. This was a potentially lethal blue-ringed octopus that my unsuspecting daughter had handled just minutes earlier.". Giant Pacific octopuses only live an average four to five years in the wild, yet they are still considered one of the longest-living octopus species. ), their protean shape- and color-shifting, even their playfulness and idiosyncratic personalities. Imports of blue rings to the U.S. grew steadily during a recent period, outpacing all other octopus species: 11 were documented in 2004, 348 in 2008, 494 in 2009, and 1,148 in 2011. He thinks keeping blue rings is “a really bad idea” and refuses to sell them. This may reflect a lack of information—for example, in the case of the mimic octopus. One, Pete’s Aquariums in Fishkill, New York, lists blue rings at $199.99 but notes that they’re sold out. When Wood enriched their lives, adding “things to crawl into and explore, those self-destructive behaviors stopped.”, Some animal advocates believe that such creatures shouldn’t be kept in aquariums at all. Most species live only one to two years, and a newly imported octopus may have just weeks left. It is the largest octopus species in the world, the largest specimen ever having weighed 600 pounds and more than 30 feet across! The Giant Pacific Octopuses are exceptionally intelligent creatures. Like most other octopus species, they would squirt out black ink from their sack when attacked, and then jet away quickly. Incredible Adaptations. To determine whether and how imports of octopuses and other aquarium species are affecting wild populations, it would help greatly to know just how many are being imported. It would lay the eggs in a safe den, with a single egg being the size of a rice grain, while the total count can range from anything between 18,000 and 74,000 (with an average of 50,000). Be it in the wild or in a marine life aquarium, you will be more likely to see a Giant Pacific octopus in the 14 to 16-foot range than one measuring longer than that. The giant Pacific octopus may between three to five years in the wild. Octopuses living in Captivity becomes relatively short life span and as little as six months. It is a very smart creature and can mimic other species and even patterned rocks. Custom ordering also enables responsible vendors to evaluate purchasers and advise them about best practices. A giant Pacific octopus will live a solitary life until the very end, at which point it will seek out a mate, reproduce and die shortly thereafter. And they worry about the danger posed to naïve hobbyists by the alluring, but lethally venomous, blue-ringed octopus. During this time, life is too hectic, and thousands of them fall prey to different creatures of the sea. With an average lifespan of 3 years, the giant pacific octopus is the longest living octopus on the planet. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), by agreement with the Fish and Wildlife Service, obtained the invoices for imports of aquarium species during three complete years (2008, 2009, and 2011) and parts of 2004 and 2005. “Octopuses escape. So now you’ve got something that’s potentially deadly, that’s pretty, that children are attracted to, on the loose.”. Others, such as the fabled but delicate mimic, do much worse. Biologist Rich Ross, who once worked in the commercial aquarium trade, proposes a private-sector solution to the information drought: “a cooperative of responsible saltwater aquarium dealers” that could both track the trade and promote sustainable practices. The size record is held by a specimen that was 30 feet across and weighed more than 600 pounds. Those almost certainly weren’t the only blue rings that came in. One of them, the giant Pacific octopus, is the largest in the world. (See what happened at the most recent CITES conference.). “It’s cool now to be a nerd, and they’re the ultimate nerd animals.” So it’s only natural that ardent aquarium hobbyists and newly sea-struck fans alike may get the urge to have their own eight-legged marvels. During mating, the male octopus inserts a specialized arm called a hectocotylus into … The largest specimen of this species to be scientifically documented was an animal with a live mass of 71 kg (156.5 lb). Giant Pacific Octopus are semelparous, meaning they reproduce once then die. Find out about these and other octopus facts. Their arms span up to 4.3 m or 14 ft. Though almost all members of the octopus family can change color, this amazing creature is said to be the master of disguise in self-defense. The giant Pacific octopus is a cephalopod species native to the northern Pacific Ocean. The Giant Pacific octopus facts for kids is an amazing collection of some of the most interesting facts about Giant Pacific octopus. Your email address will not be published. The octopus lifespan is relatively short, with some living lives that last only six months, but it varies depending on species. "I assumed it was a small sea cucumber and dismissed the comment," he writes on the Cephalopod Page. Required fields are marked *. Average Length: 3.3 ft – 6 ft 7 in. The female would hang the eggs in many strands from the roof of a cave deep down in the ocean. But Ross acknowledges that it hasn’t been easy to rally the industry; two previous efforts failed. The female stops eating during this care and her life ends soon after the eggs hatch. These cephalopods are polygamous. Rhyne and his team, however, were able to partially fill the data vacuum. However, to attain sexual maturity, they need to wait for a whole year during which time they are approximately 20 pounds. ), “Word got out,” Ross says. Aquarium hobbyists can be allies in this cause, she argues, contributing to public and scientific understanding of these previously overlooked animals: "When people keep octopuses at home, they really get an attachment to them, and share that appreciation.". The store’s receptionist hung up abruptly when I identified myself and asked about their blue rings. When it comes to mating, a single female will move out in search of a male that should be typically larger than it. Adults usually weigh around 15 kg (33 lb), with an arm span of up to 4.3 m (14 ft). Size: The average length of an adult is about 15-16 feet across, which might as well be larger. However, they are also caught for public aquariums and as bait in other fisheries. “Sometimes they hitchhike along on [chunks of coral reef], and you don’t even know you have one,” Wood says. Description. It can lay between 120,000 and 400,000 eggs which are intensively cared for by the females. The Seattle Aquarium holds an annual Valentine’s Day party to mark the would-be mating of its giant Pacific octopuses (the world's largest species, … Some, such as the California two-spot octopus, appear to fare relatively well in captivity. Rather than crawling for cover like most octopuses, [the octopus] reared up while pulling back her first two pair of arms [and] exposing her mouth. Habitat: Where do the North Pacific Giant Octopus Live, Feeding Habits: What do the Giant Pacific Octopuses Eat, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enteroctopus_dofleini, https://www.arkive.org/north-pacific-giant-octopus/enteroctopus-dofleini/, https://wwwtest.tnaqua.org/our-animals/invertebrates/giant-pacific-octopus, https://www.georgiaaquarium.org/animal-guide/georgia-aquarium/home/galleries/cold-water-quest/gallery-animals/giant-pacific-octopus, http://aquarium.org/exhibits/giant-pacific-octopus/. The giant Pacific octopus grows bigger and lives longer than any other octopus species. He found that these intelligent, curious animals need more than space, food, and clean water. Most common octopus species don’t live longer than two years. Found in a small region of the Pacific Ocean, these creatures produce thousands of eggs, making their populations naturally resilient, though their exact numbers are not known. Eyes: Eyes are circular with the retractable skin around them to protect. Larvae hatch from a cluster of eggs and are on average 9.5 to 10.1 mm in length. During this period, the female octopus would live inside her cave without taking any food, using its arms to fan the eggs, and gushing streams of water rich in nutrients and oxygen. On the very first day of birth, the hatchlings would have 14 suckers in each of their eight arms to help them feed on tiny planktons floating in the ocean water. Creating Pacific Octopuses For Enteroctopus dofleini, reproduction is the ultimate purpose in life. The gestation period of the female is one month. In some countries, they are valued as seafood, being especially popular in Asian and Mediterranean cuisines. Image from Wikimedia Commons. Giant Pacific Octopus Facts for Kids. Their saliva contains the potent nerve toxin tetrodotoxin, the same compound that makes California newts, harlequin frogs, and fugu pufferfish liver so deadly. (The mimic is also reclusive and nocturnal and unlikely to display its famous shape-shifting in a tank. “All the reasons you would use enrichment for vertebrates apply to octopuses,” Wood says. NOAA funded Roger Williams University's Marine Aquarium and Biodiversity Trade Flow project to digitize and analyze the information in them. Octopuses in general usually live no more than a year! Some robust common species, such as the California two-spot octopus, get along relatively well in captivity. Lab tests have shown that they can be ‘friendly’ and learn to use tools, open jars, mimic other octopuses, and even solve mazes, or recognize human faces. “It can cost a couple thousand dollars just to get set up," says Reyna Bueno, of Barrier Reef Aquariums, a leading Seattle-area vendor. Is it wrong to keep octopuses in captivity? The average Giant Pacific Octopus measures 8 to 16 feet in length and weighs 80 to 160 pounds. The giant Pacific octopus can be found in southern California, northward along the coast of North America, across the Aleutian Islands and southward to Japan. To make up for its relatively short lifespan, the octopus is extremely prolific. But trade volumes and trends are largely matters of anecdote and speculation. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. Blue-ring bites occur each year in Australia, but timely, vigorous artificial respiration usually prevents fatalities; only three have been confirmed during the past century, none involving aquariums. They’re big. The result was a suggestive snapshot of the marine wildlife trade into the U.S., but even this small trove of data—all that we have on octopus imports—is outdated and imperfect. The growing public fascination with octopuses doesn’t seem to have translated into surging sales—so far, anyway. As with most creatures, the octopus's main purpose in life is to reproduce. Giant Pacific Octopus at SEA LIFE. One of the most persistent myths regarding octopus and squids is that of the giant squid -- a massive creature who sinks ships and feasts on humans. The purchase is also a short-term investment. One blue ring can carry enough to kill 10 or more humans. Many other octopuses go through a lifespan in one year, from egg to end of life. "It's completely possible we will see an influx," he says. Wood and other experts fear that too much enthusiasm may endanger two of the most dazzling and mediagenic, but little studied and potentially rare, species: the striped or wunderpus octopus (discovered in the 1980s) and its cousin, the mimic octopus (identified only in 1998). Males possess a modified sex arm called a hectocotylus that stores long ropes of sperm. Even if that demand continued exponentially, it would be legal: None of the 300-plus known species of octopus is listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES), which regulates cross-border trade in wildlife, or the U.S. All rights reserved. “Some would crawl up the containers, out of the water, and just dry out. The lifespan of giant Pacific octopuses is characterized by a fast growth period that continues throughout its entire life of 4 to 5 years. "We are in a data vacuum," says Andrew Rhyne, a biologist at Roger Williams University, in Bristol, Rhode Island. Without mating the octopus may survive up to five years, and Giant Pacific octopus have been found to reach a weight of 600 pounds, and an estimated width of over 31 feet, But the average size is only 100 pounds and 3m, still weighing in as the largest species of octopus. All octopuses probably carry some venom, but only the various golf ball-size blue-ringed species, which range from southern Japan to Australia, are known to pack a lethal dose. “Reading all the articles out there, people see themselves in these animals,” says a salesman at one leading marine-animal importer, who asked not to be named because he spoke without authorization. Endangered Species Act (ESA). The largest Giant Pacific Octopus ever caught measured about 30 feet across and weighed over 600 pounds. An octopus's garden The adult giant Pacific octopus eats a wide assortment of seafood including crabs, clams and other mussels. “If there is one thing that we know about mimics,” Shaw writes, “it is that they are rare.” He notes that their Indonesian coastal habitat is being wiped out by runoff and mining and that they do poorly in captivity, which means many mimics likely die so one can survive a few months in a tank. “We have to make sure they have the background, make sure they have the knowledge to treat the things that pop up.". Blue rings’ lethality, coupled with their dazzling eponymous markings, exert a powerful allure on some aquarium aficionados—“daredevils,” Slemp calls them. The Giant Pacific octopus hunts for food at night and has a lifespan of four years. One import of a mimic was recorded in 2008, two in 2009, and 30 in 2011, the last year available. The short life span and reclusive tendencies of this species have proved a challenge for researchers. They have relatively short lifespans with some only living for 6 months the giant Pacific octopus can live for approximately 5 years. Once the octopus reaches adulthood, it will eventually get the urge to mate. Body/Appearance: The skin is reddish pink, having faint venation patterns all over. As of 2013, the largest one on record was 43 feet long. Lifespan The giant Pacific octopus has a long lifespan for an octopus — about three to five years. The color fades to white under the tentacles. The female would die soon after the hatchlings come out of the eggs. But when he cracked the shell open, "a tangle of arms covered with small iridescent blue spots spewed from the fissure,” he wrote on the Cephalopod Page. "Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is home to a giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini). Fish and Wildlife Service, which regulates the nation’s wildlife trade, requires that import declarations be filed for all species coming in, as well as a more detailed invoice for each wildlife shipment. We'd like to introduce you to Hank, he's a Giant Pacific Octopus and the star of our brand new attraction, Octopus Hideout. Once found, they would use their arms (not to be confused with tentacles) to hold the prey tightly, and then use their sharp parrot-beaklike mouth to puncture the flesh and tear through. In Seattle, the artists, writers, musicians, and scientists of the Cephalopod Appreciation Society gather each summer to celebrate octopuses and their squid and cuttlefish cousins in image, word, and song. He urges even public aquariums to resist the lure of this trophy: “I honestly fear that if we cannot stem their collection, there will be no mimics to wonder at in a very few years.”. Conclusive research is going on about an entirely new species of giant octopus, closely related to the Giant Pacific, which was discovered by marine scientists in Alaska in December 2017. Octopuses typically die shortly following breeding. The IUCN Red List has not enlisted/categorized this octopus species. In addition to their high prices and expensive diets—heavy on live crabs and shrimp— octopuses need large, escape-proof tanks with ample hiding places, unassailable fixtures to withstand their powerful arms and inquisitive tampering, and no fish or other companions (they'll eat them). The service uses the volume of shipments received to determine staff needs and resources at the nation’s ports of entry. Because they’re solitary, they can fare better in captivity than animals whose rich familial and social lives can’t be reproduced there—as long as they're provided a suitably rich environment. Octopuses are well-known masters of camouflage and skillful escape artists, but they aren't exactly famous for their social skills. Arms: Four pairs of arms extend from its mantle, with each pair having about 280 suckers or suction cups, which in turn are further made of many thousand chemical receptors that give them the power of sharp smell and taste. How many hearts does an octopus have? Octopus are mollusks, which means they are from the same phylum (or family) as slugs, snails, cuttlefish and … https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2019/10/pet-octopuses-are-a-problem.html, Cuttlefish and Corals Sustainable Saltwater Aquariums, “Mimic Octopuses: Will We Love Them to Death?”, declares People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, See what happened at the most recent CITES conference, Marine Aquarium and Biodiversity Trade Flow. Dry out rings’ lethality, coupled with their dazzling eponymous markings, exert a allure! 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