Octopuses are intelligent, can change color and have excellent eyesight. They are
also very strong. Using their eight arms, large giant Pacific octopuses can move
more than 700 pounds.
Size Up to 20 feet from tip to tip of outstretched arm, and up to 150 pounds
Diet Fishes, shrimps, crabs, scallops, clams and other shellfishes
Lifespan 1-5 years
Range Northern Pacific Ocean, from Alaska through California
Habitat Rocky areas, caves and kelp forests, from the shores to depths
of more than 500 feet
Predators Adults' predators include wolf eels, halibut, seals and otters.
Young octopuses are hunted by many animals, including marine mammals.
Relatives They don’t have a hard shell, but octopuses are in the mollusk family,
which means they are related to clams, mussels, oysters, squid and nautilus.
Family life Adult female giant Pacific octopuses lay up to 75,000 eggs in small caves. There, the female defends her eggs until they are ready to hatch, which can take up to six months. The hatchlings then drift in ocean currents for several months, after which they drop to the seafloor, where they hide in caves and rock crevices. It only takes about a year for a giant Pacific octopus to be old enough to breed.
Conservation status Stable The giant Pacific octopus is very adaptable, which means that it is able to resist the effects of human-caused threats, including overfishing, bycatch and habitat destruction.
Get ready to be wrapped up in Tentacles! Look for the giant Pacific octopus in its newly expanded habitat and watch its cuttlefish cousins change colors before your eyes. From petite red octopuses to graceful sea jellies, dive into the dazzling diversity of these mysterious ocean animals as Tentacles take hold at the New England Aquarium!