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Giant Pacific octopus

Did you know?

Enteroctopus dofleini

Brainy and beautiful, this is the largest octopus species on Earth! Divers in Puget Sound often see mature octopuses that are 15 feet across and weigh about 50 pounds.

Peer in into the den

Hiding in camouflage
Can you spot it?
Octopuses love to hide in rocky crevices or “dens”, and we’ve given our octopus plenty of those in its new habitat. Look around – you’ll soon spot a tentacle, often camouflaged to match the rocks.
Eat clams
And grow fast.
A newly hatched octopus is ¼-inch long. Since it only lives 3 to 5 years it must grow fast!
Resting in a den by day, it emerges at night to feast on crabs and clams, doubling its weight every 2 or 3 months.
Protecting the eggs
for the rest of her life.
After mating, a female giant Pacific octopus lays thousands of eggs in long strands of around 250, attached to the roof of her den. She then protects without eating for around 7 months.
She’ll only lay eggs once – and soon after that she will die. It’s the last, most important thing she does.
Puzzle fiend
and master of camouflage.
Octopuses are curious and smart, and love to explore their environment using their strong, dexterous arms. They have been known to unscrew jars and solve puzzles.
They are also masters of disguise, changing the color of their skin from moment to moment via pigment cells just under the skin.

Protecting the Ocean

It takes all of us.

THE THREAT: Happily, the giant Pacific octopus population is in good shape, since they have such short lives, lay so many eggs and are not heavily fished.

TAKE ACTION: But other species featured in our aquariums aren’t as lucky. Find out more about protecting our ocean on our Care conservation page.

Aquarium Stories

Ocean Voices Speaker Series

Ocean Voices Speaker Series As part of the Pacific Seas Aquarium Community Celebration, every Tuesday evening this April we’re gathering the best local scientists and ocean activists we can find for a dynamic speaker series at venues around Tacoma. Come listen, learn and be inspired to protect our ocean. All events are free.   April … Continued

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Distracting the Octopus

Playing with an octopus isn’t in everyone’s job description. But for aquarium staff Paige Gutierrez and Tai Fripp, it’s all part of caring for Ozzie, the giant Pacific octopus inside the Pacific Seas Aquarium at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Why? Because an octopus is curious – and if an aquarist is cleaning her habitat, … Continued

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Baja Diving

In clear, blue Baja Bay, three scuba divers are drifting alongside eagle rays and brightly-colored fish. They’re moving slowly, and unlike most divers in tropical waters, they’re not gazing admiringly at the animals around them. Because these divers are aquarists at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium – and they’re hard at work. “We clean, we … Continued

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Who's Nearby?
Fascinated by our octopus? Then check out the Coastal Kelp Forest just opposite, full of other sea animals that live in Puget Sound and beyond.