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