It's a lonely and short life for a Giant Pacific octopus--an 8-armed brainy beast. That's right. These cold water creatures are smart.
They can open a lid from a jar, they like playing with toys, uncork a champagne bottle, and they will interact with humans.
And while a Giant Pacific octopus might live for only 5 years, it takes the word giant seriously. In the Puget Sound waters near Seattle, WA, one Giant Pacific octopus was 18 feet from tip to tip of its tentacles. That's big enough to cover a VW Beetle. But the biggest ever found made the word "giant" real. It measured 30 feet from tip to tip and weighed 600 pounds.
What does a giant octopus have in common with a tiny clam? They are in the same family! Both the Giant Pacific octopus and clams are members of the mollusk family. But unlike a clam that lives inside a shell, this giant member of the same family tree does not live in a shell--but it does like to disguise itself among rocks.
A Giant Pacific octopus:
- Is the size of a rice-grain when born
- Tells one human from the other
- Change colors
- Squeezes into itsy-bitsy places
- Paralyzes their prey with venom--including small sharks
- Usually live alone
- Females usually die after hatching their young from 50,000 to 100,000 eggs