Animal of the Week Giant Pacific Octopus

The Giant Pacific Octopus: An Ocean Giant

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Giant Pacific Octopus are fascinating creatures. They are one of the world’s leaders in cryptic camouflage and have tentacles covered in suckers for manipulating the environment and restraining prey. They are considered to be one of the most intelligent animals alive today. Some have even gone so far as to call them aliens from another planet. Giant Pacific Octopuses are great at parental care and watch over thousands of babies until they hatch. They have 3 hearts, 9 brains, copper based blood, and they have a siphon that is used for jet propulsion. No matter which way you spell it out, octopus are some of the most interesting creatures to ever live on planet earth.

How long do Giant Pacific Octopus live?

The Giant Pacific Octopus has a relatively short life span only living around 3-5 years in the wild. In fact most octopus live short lives with the majority of species living around 1-2 years. One deep sea species is believed to live between 16-18 years. All others had short life spans.

Do they really have 9 brains?

There is a rumor going around the world about the octopus having 9 brains! If you think about it octopus look rather alien like. So picturing them with 9 brains is totally possible. However, its not fully accurate to say that octopus have brains because they do not have brains in the same sense when comparing them to a mammal. Octopus have a central brain connected with something called ganglia. Ganglia is a grouping of nerves and synapses that send information and sensory details similar to a brain. However, ganglia are much simpler than a mammalian brain. Octopus do have highly specialized ganglia arranged in groups called lobes and tracts. This allows them to have more complex nervous systems than other cephalopods. Octopus have one main ganglia or central brain and 8 other ganglia in their tentacles which are capable of sending back information independently from each tentacle.

Do their arms grow back?

Yes! An Octopus can regrow and regenerate tentacles that have been lost or damaged. They are even capable of regenerating new nerves and suckers located on the tentacles. The most impressive thing about this regeneration is the high quality of the tentacle after its regenerated. Octopus are able to regenerate full functionality. This makes it very hard to distinguish the regenerated tentacles.

What habitat do they live in?

The giant pacific octopus has a relatively large marine distribution. These ocean dwelling invertebrates are found in cold waters off the coast of the Northern Pacific Ocean. The Giant Pacific Octopus is solitary and found mostly in the rocky intertidal zone. However, they are relatively active and are found as deep as 6,500 ft below the surface. Females stay in compact rock dens until their eggs hatch.

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