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Yes, we have octopuses in Sinclair Inlet

October 26th, 2012 by cdunagan

A giant Pacific octopus with 4- to 5-foot tentacles washed up dead this week at Elandan Gardens in Gorst. Diane Robinson, who owns the gardens with her husband Dan, called to tell us about it, and I went by and took a few photos.

Marine biologist Jeff Adams of Washington Sea Grant, who writes a blog for the Kitsap Sun, says there are probably plenty of places for the creatures to live in Sinclair Inlet, including rocky shores and sunken boats. Jeff wrote about octopuses in his blog Sea Life in February of 2010.

Diane Robinson with an octopus that washed up dead at Elandan Gardens near Gorst
Photo by Christopher Dunagan

Some facts about the giant Pacific octopus, taken from the blog Wild Pacific Northwest by Ivan Phillipsen and the National Geographic website:

  • The record size of a giant Pacific octopus is about 30 feet (9.1 meters) from tip to tip with a weight of more than 600 pounds (272 kilograms).
  • They live to about 4 years old, and both males and females die soon after breeding. Females usually live long enough to take care of their eggs and watch them hatch.
  • They hunt at night. living mostly on shrimp, crab and fish. Their suckers can taste and capture their prey, which is brought to a sharp beak, the only hard part on its body.
  • They can change colors to blend in with their surroundings.
  • They are highly intelligent with a brain that encircles the throat and extends down to each tentacle. In laboratory tests, they have been been able to distinguish shapes and patterns, solve mazes and twist off jar lids.
  • During sleep, they demonstrate brainwave patterns that suggest dreaming.

One of my Amusing Monday pieces focused on a video of a battle between an octopus and a shark. I later learned that the video was taken at the Seattle Aquarium, and I told the story behind the video.

Amusing Monday: Battle of the Depths

Update on share-versus-octopus battle

If that’s not enough, check out the videos I posted during Octopus Week at the Seattle Aquarium:

Amusing Monday: You’ve got to love an octopus

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2 Responses to “Yes, we have octopuses in Sinclair Inlet”

  1. fletc3her Says:

    Thanks for sharing this. It’s easy to forget that we have some of the most amazing creatures in the world living just off our doorsteps. I’ve seen some amazing jellyfish just off the dock at Southworth. I thought they were man-of-war, but they might have been lion’s mane jellyfish. I’ve seen Orcas a few times from the ferry and I hear sea lions barking almost every night.

  2. Rosie Atkinson Says:

    Can’t remember where I heard it, but I was told some years ago that the Sinclair Inlet head of the bay was the largest spawning grounds for octopi on the west coast. Any info on that?

    Rosie

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"In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught."Baba Dioum, Senegalese conservationist

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