by, Jo Carol Hebert
There are plenty of animals in the world. Some are cute and fuzzy, while others are just plain weird.
Today we are going to discover the “odd octopus.”
Check out some cool facts on this “well-armed” creature!
A ‘Big-Hearted Creature
The North Pacific Giant Octopus (let’s just call him the NPGO) truly has a big heart. In fact, it has three hearts – two for pumping blood to the gills for breathing; and a larger heart that circulates blood to the rest of the body.
A ‘Brainy’ Creature
It takes nine brains for this octopus to send signals to all the parts of its body. The central brain controls the general nervous system. Also, eight separate brains signal to its eight arms, allowing them to move separately and together. The NPGO is intelligent and makes straight A’s in the animal world.
A Blue-Blooded Creature
Our NPGO has blue blood, rich in protein to transport oxygen throughout its body in the cold ocean environments where it lives. They are found on the saltwater oceans of the U.S West Coast, the Aleutian Islands (near Western Alaska), and Japan.
Camouflage? No Problem
This amazing animal can also change colors and skin textures in a heartbeat. It is normally an orange-red color. But, special color sacs of the pigments that make color are stored and released as needed to blend in with the water habitat
Our Nautical Hero Shoots Toxic Ink!
Special large gland sacs also produce and store a poison ink liquid. The octopus squirts the ink forward when alarmed. This force propels his body in the opposite direction. The ink clouds the water and allows the versatile mariner to escape.
And That’s Not All!
Did you know?
- The North Pacific Giant Octopus has 280 suction cups on 8 separate arms.
- The mother lays 120,000 to 400,000 eggs.
- Once her eggs hatch, she dies.
- Their arms are 14 feet long.
- The average lifespan is from 3-5 years
- They can weigh up to 600 pounds.
- The octopus likes to dine on crabs, shrimp, and clams.
- These creatures are hunted by seals, sea otters, and ‘sperm’ whales (and, of course, humans).
- Their arms are sometimes referred to as ‘tentacles’.
- This sea creature has no bones and can squeeze through really tiny spaces.
Cephalopod – Distant Cousin to the Mollusk
The North Pacific Giant Octopus is a Cephalopod, in the family of snails and slugs, clams and oysters.
Wait! Don’t they eat clams? So, that could cause some family drama. Maybe a TV reality show is in the works?
We hope you enjoyed our deep-sea dive into the world of the North Giant Pacific Octopus.What other sea animals would you like to know about?
If you are ‘mollusk-minded’ to know more about this kind of species, see “Let’s Consider the Clam.”
Check out this video to watch an octopus squeeeeeze through a opening much smaller than itself.