In addition to their high prices and expensive dietsâheavy on live crabs and shrimpâ 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 range of this species range extends throughout the Pacific Ocean, starting from the south of California to Alaska, stretching to the west up to the Aleutian Islands and Japan. âIâve seen them in pet shops and home aquaria where owners didnât know what it was,â Slemp says. 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. One, Peteâs Aquariums in Fishkill, New York, lists blue rings at $199.99 but notes that theyâre sold out. Is it wrong to keep octopuses in captivity? The Seattle Aquarium holds an annual Valentineâs 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). "If anything,â says the sales manager at one aquarium-animal import company who requested anonymity because he was speaking without authorization, âIâve seen a downturn over the years.". 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. But Ross acknowledges that it hasnât been easy to rally the industry; two previous efforts failed. By and by, the juveniles get drifted by the ocean current for about three months, feeding only on planktons. During their life span, many octopus … Before a courtship can begin between two octopuses, they first need to find each other. 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. Let’s just get it out there right off the bat—this species holds the record for the largest … 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. In some countries, they are valued as seafood, being especially popular in Asian and Mediterranean cuisines. 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. By the time the young ones are a year old, they grow to around 2 pounds. The purchase is also a short-term investment. The giant Pacific octopus is the longest-lived octopus species, usually living 3 to 5 years in the wild. 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. âIf there is one thing that we know about mimics,â Shaw writes, âit is that they are rare.â 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. However, they are also caught for public aquariums and as bait in other fisheries. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. The giant Pacific octopus is a cephalopod species native to the northern Pacific Ocean. Maori Octopus. The female would hang the eggs in many strands from the roof of a cave deep down in the ocean. During mating, he inserts the rope of sperm, called a spermatophore, into the female’s oviduct. As with most creatures, the octopus's main purpose in life is to reproduce. Rhyne's team found many discrepancies between the import declarations and the more detailed invoices. Other vendors still offer them, even online. The Giant Pacific octopus facts for kids is an amazing collection of some of the most interesting facts about Giant Pacific octopus. The giant Pacific octopus grows bigger and lives longer than any other octopus species. During this time, life is too hectic, and thousands of them fall prey to different creatures of the sea. Giant Pacific Octopus at SEA LIFE. Your email address will not be published. The adult or relatively larger octopuses practically do not have predators. "It's completely possible we will see an influx," he says. These animals are not at all aggressive (but somewhat shy and timid), and would rarely attack or bite humans unless threatened. Rhyne and his team, however, were able to partially fill the data vacuum. 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. Average Lifespan: … Giant Pacific Octopus are semelparous, meaning they reproduce once then die. If it releases the ink in a confined space and then fails to move away in time, it will possibly fall sick or even die by ingesting its own venom. âI get asked all the time, âCan you get octopuses?ââ says Jeff Slemp, proprietor of a store called Cuttlefish and Corals Sustainable Saltwater Aquariums, in Portland, Oregon. Males possess a modified sex arm called a hectocotylus that stores long ropes of sperm. The reclusive, delicate mimic octopus doesnât do well. 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. 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. But trade volumes and trends are largely matters of anecdote and speculation. U.S. imports of the highly venomous greater blue-ringed octopus have outpaced those of all other species, according to the sparse available records. The male dies a few months afterwards, while female dies shortly after the eggs hatch. âWe have to make sure they have the background, make sure they have the knowledge to treat the things that pop up.". 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. The size record is held by a specimen that was 30 feet across and weighed more than 600 pounds. However, to attain sexual maturity, they need to wait for a whole year during which time they are approximately 20 pounds. Because theyâre solitary, they can fare better in captivity than animals whose rich familial and social lives canât be reproduced thereâas long as they're provided a suitably rich environment. The U.S. The service uses the volume of shipments received to determine staff needs and resources at the nationâs ports of entry. Image from Wikimedia Commons. Each captive or aquarium pet is known to have a unique temperament and personality and can be both playful and destructive. 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.". Those almost certainly werenât the only blue rings that came in. Even so, itâs unclear whether all the fascination is hurting octopuses. Lifespan The giant Pacific octopus has a long lifespan for an octopus — about three to five years. 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. The Giant Octopuses dwell in the cold temperate coastal waters up to a depth of 330 feet or more in the kelp forests, rocky areas, and caves. During this time, it leads a solitary existence, breeding only one time. © 2020 (Animal Spot). (The mimic is also reclusive and nocturnal and unlikely to display its famous shape-shifting in a tank. They have relatively short lifespans with some only living for 6 months the giant Pacific octopus can live for approximately 5 years. Sometimes, an individual would spend in a cave for weeks, crawling out only when hungry. 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. Photograph by David Liittschwager, Nat Geo Image Collection. Any downturn also reflects the efforts of Wood and other experts to educate hobbyists and vendors about the costs and hazards of keeping these demanding super-mollusks. 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. He urges even public aquariums to resist the lure of this trophy: âI honestly fear that if we cannot stem their collection, there will be no mimics to wonder at in a very few years.â. Custom ordering also enables responsible vendors to evaluate purchasers and advise them about best practices. Both the male and female octopuses die soon after mating. Body/Appearance: The skin is reddish pink, having faint venation patterns all over. Weight: Generally, 110 to 150 pounds for a matured individual. The female stops eating during this care and her life ends soon after the eggs hatch. Such cavalier attitudes trouble Wood, who studied octopuses as a faculty member at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences. Blue ringsâ lethality, coupled with their dazzling eponymous markings, exert a powerful allure on some aquarium aficionadosââdaredevils,â Slemp calls them. Giant Pacific Octopus Facts for Kids. He thinks keeping blue rings is âa really bad ideaâ and refuses to sell them. The IUCN Red List has not enlisted/categorized this octopus species. âThis is not an animal to be taken on lightly.â The fact that octopuses seem very intelligent deters some people, who have qualms about treating them badly, from buying them. Individuals reach sexual maturity at around two to three years of age, though they only live to be about four to five years old. Octopus are mollusks, which means they are from the same phylum (or family) as slugs, snails, cuttlefish and … It is a very smart creature and can mimic other species and even patterned rocks. 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. Octopuses in general usually live no more than a year! Demand in the U.S. seems to have begun growing in the few years for which official import data have been released, although the numbers were small. Slemp isn't opposed on principle to keeping these big-brained, unusually smart mollusks as pets, but he wonât sell octopuses to just anyone. Some, such as the California two-spot octopus, appear to fare relatively well in captivity. Blue rings carry enough nerve toxin to kill 10 or more humans. When Wood enriched their lives, adding âthings to crawl into and explore, those self-destructive behaviors stopped.â, Some animal advocates believe that such creatures shouldnât be kept in aquariums at all. Scientists have … On the Cephalopod Page website, which Wood edits, aquarist Christopher Shaw and University of California, Berkeley, biologist Roy Caldwell posted a package of articles under the headline, âMimic Octopuses: Will We Love Them to Death?â. 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 Philippinesâthe Wild West of marine wildlife collecting. 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. Giant Pacific Octopus Habitat They’re big. The specimen had fleshy frills, bumpy ridges all over the body, and two white spots on the head. To make up for its relatively short lifespan, the octopus is extremely prolific. âOctopuses are very charismatic,â says James Wood, a marine biologist turned aquarium operator based near Palm Beach, Florida. âAll the reasons you would use enrichment for vertebrates apply to octopuses,â Wood says. And at aquariums around the world, octopuses are reliable crowd pleasers. The length of time that passes between hatching, reproduction and death varies among octopus species. 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). This may reflect a lack of informationâfor example, in the case of the mimic octopus. Larvae hatch from a cluster of eggs and are on average 9.5 to 10.1 mm in length. Giant pacific octopus (Enteroctopus Dofleini) is a long-lived and large cephalopod. Average Length: 3.3 ft – 6 ft 7 in. The average longevity of the Giant Pacific Octopus is 4.5 to 5 years in both captivity and the wild. The Giant Pacific octopus hunts for food at night and has a lifespan of four years. One of those pop-ups is the octopuses themselves. One of them, the giant Pacific octopus, is the largest in the world. Octopuses typically die shortly following breeding. Little is known about the behavior of these enigmatic creatures. Each of these strands holds about 200-250 eggs. Many other octopuses go through a lifespan in one year, from egg to end of life. The Giant Pacific Octopuses are exceptionally intelligent creatures. 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. The giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) is often cited as the largest known octopus species. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. This was a potentially lethal blue-ringed octopus that my unsuspecting daughter had handled just minutes earlier.". All rights reserved. Its aggressiveness and predatory behavior as envisioned by authors like Jules Verne is the stuff of legend, but the giant squid does exist. Others, such as the fabled but delicate mimic, do much worse. An adult of these cephalopods has enough strength to move more than 700 pounds. (Ross is now with the Albright Laboratory, a coral-reef research and restoration facility affiliated with the aquarium.) The largest Giant Pacific Octopus ever caught measured about 30 feet across and weighed over 600 pounds. Their arms span up to 4.3 m or 14 ft. The striped, or wunderpus, octopus was discovered in the 1980s. (See what happened at the most recent CITES conference.). âSometimes they hitchhike along on [chunks of coral reef], and you donât even know you have one,â Wood says. 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. The growing public fascination with octopuses doesnât seem to have translated into surging salesâso far, anyway. However, if it knew just what was waiting for it soon after, it might think twice. Another celebrated octopus presents a different concern. Once the octopus reaches adulthood, it will eventually get the urge to mate. 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. Which creature has three hearts, eight arms and a doughnut shaped brain? Your email address will not be published. The gestation period of the female is one month. Incredible Adaptations. 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. 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, … After birth, the baby octopuses would measure about a quarter of an inch, weighing around 22 milligrams. The giant Pacific octopus is considered to be long-lived compared to other species, with lifespans typically 3–5 years in the wild. Caldwell recounts a close escape. Most species live only one to two years, and a newly imported octopus may have just weeks left. Both the sexes can breed year round. Octopuses living in Captivity becomes relatively short life span and as little as six months. A few species have fla… You guessed it: it’s the octopus! It would be something along the lines of various angler's groups and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which represents public institutions. The giant Pacific octopus, like all species of octopus, have eight arms on top of which sit a bulbous ‘mantle’. The storeâs receptionist hung up abruptly when I identified myself and asked about their blue rings. The female Giant Pacific Octopus is an example of genuine parental care, guarding the eggs for almost seven months until they hatch. 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. When he began his research, he kept his octopuses in bare containers. Description. 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. NOAA funded Roger Williams University's Marine Aquarium and Biodiversity Trade Flow project to digitize and analyze the information in them. So now youâve got something thatâs potentially deadly, thatâs pretty, that children are attracted to, on the loose.â. Eyes: Eyes are circular with the retractable skin around them to protect. When it comes to mating, a single female will move out in search of a male that should be typically larger than it. 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). After hatching, the baby octopus(or larvae) take on the role of plankton, drifting around the ocean feeding on neuston (dead food) as opposed to hunting live prey. Instead, theyâre adopting custom ordering, which reduces excess shipments of animals and therefore mortality. Adults usually weigh around 15 kg (33 lb), with an arm span of up to 4.3 m (14 ft). But when he cracked the shell open, "a tangle of arms covered with small iridescent blue spots spewed from the fissure,â he wrote on the Cephalopod Page. Like most other octopus species, they would squirt out black ink from their sack when attacked, and then jet away quickly.
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