Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Baby Pacific Giant Octopus!

Exciting News!

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center just received a baby Pacific Giant Octopus from the SPU lab at Fort Casey. She is currently a little bigger than a golf ball and settling into her new habitat quite nicely. In fact, posted below is a video of her catching a shore crab in her new tank!

The Pacific Giant Octopus (Enteroctopus dolfleini) is one of the largest octopi in the world, growing over 9 meters in length and weighing over 45kg at full maturity. Like vertebrates, octopi have both long and short term memories. They are also very smart and may learn to solve problems (like getting food out of a closed jar) by trial and error, experience, and perhaps by observational learning. Once the problem is solved they are able to solve it and other similar problems repeatedly. Another fascinating fact about octopi (and Cephalopods) is their ability to change color. Special pigment cells (chromatophores) in the skin are activated and consist of three bags containing different colors that can be adjusted individually, to change the octopus to its desired color pattern. Coloration often reflects the mood of the octopus but it also greatly used for camouflaging with its environment.

Come by the PTMSC and see her! Though she may be a little shy.

Your friendly Marine Scientist and PTMSC Fall Intern,
Jonathan Robinson

Information found from:


  1. That is SO cool! It will be awesome to see how she grows over time. Is Ruby still in that jewel tank too?

    Great video!

  2. Ruby is still guarding her eggs in the next tank over. This little beauty is in the other jewel tank.

  3. Ruby is still in her Jewel tank. Baby GPO, yet to be named (any ideas?), is in the other jewel tank where the nudibranchs were.

  4. You should name her Sammy or Rose! That is a fantastic little video clip! I have always been a big fan the giant octopus.

  5. I've never observed an octopus on it's first day in our care & in our tanks, being so cruious & active in day light. Great little video! Anne

  6. Uh oh - some grammar needs learning -

    according to the annotated bibliography found in "Between Pacific Tides" - if you have more than one octopus, you can either have octopuses or octopods - but there is no legitimate reason for the word "octopi". Poor grammar doesn't make it right.


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