Giant Pacific Octopus
Ruddy, our large female giant Pacific octopus, has a new exhibit neighbor!
Please welcome Edmond to the New England Aquarium.
Edmond is named after Edmonds Underwater Park in Washington. This park is a Marine Preserve and Sanctuary consisting of more than 27 acres of habitat for wildlife and trails specifically designed for divers to explore.
It’s a fitting name since giant Pacific octopuses are masters of exploration. Without the constraint of bones, these octopuses can fit through any space large enough to accommodate their bird-like beaks. Here at the New England Aquarium, the octopuses can squeeze into artificial caves in the corners of the exhibit and spread each of their eight suckered legs across their tanks.
While looking at the octopuses, you may notice their exhibit is split down the middle. Octopuses are inherently territorial, so we make sure ours always have their own space by dividing the tank in two.
In the front tank you will see Ruddy, named after a beloved Visitor Educator. When she’s not sprawling across the tank, Ruddy often takes to the top right corner of the exhibit to rest. Ruddy is extremely photogenic and pictures are welcome, but no flash photography, please. Octopuses have very sensitive eyes.
Edmond, the newest resident, is in the back tank. He’s still pretty small (giant Pacific octopuses can reach to more than 15 feet across when fully grown) and has been getting more active every day as he settles into his new home.
Perhaps the trickiest part of admiring an octopus as small as Edmond is actually spotting him at first glance. Giant Pacific octopuses can change the color and texture of their skin in the span of an eye blink. Since Edmond is about the size of some of the sea stars in his tank, he can be very good at blending in. The suckers lining his arms, however, are the best things to look for; the rest of the octopus will come into focus after you find them.
Be sure to stop by our Olympic Coast Sanctuary exhibit and say “Hi” to these two inspiring cephalopods, located on Level 3.