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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

Behind the Shimmer

It’s more than just a play of light. Wander down the ramps of the new Pacific Seas Aquarium, and you’ll pass through shimmers of colored light. You’re immersed in their play and flicker, as if swimming through a sunlit lagoon. It’s art – the light installation “Shimmer,” by California artist Gordon Huether – but the … Continued

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Lunchtime in the aquarium

Animal care aide Jordan Jirik lies flat on her stomach, her head hanging over the top of Baja Bay’s 280,000-gallon habitat. Below her, five hungry spotted eagle rays swim eagerly up to a large black sign with a big white X emblazoned on it. It’s their feeding-station target. And when it appears in the water, … Continued

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We opened the Pacific Seas Aquarium!

Two dozen necks crane up, up, up, eyes riveted on the scene above, as four hammerhead sharks cruise overhead. Sunny the sea turtle joins the scene, swimming unhurriedly by and then diving deeper into his home. Suddenly, two eagle rays “fly” overhead, their pectoral fins gently flapping up and down to propel them through the … 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.