The giant Pacific octopus is a mollusk that lives in coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean. This octopus has two large eyes that can watch for predators by turning backward or forward. Since the octopus does not have any bones, it can squeeze into tiny spaces to hide from predators. If its hiding place is found, the octopus will squirt black ink so the predator will not see them make a quick escape. Predators of the giant octopus include eels, seals, dolphins, sharks and whales.
This giant likes to feed on other mollusks like clams and snails. Crabs are another favorite food, but a crab can snap off the end of the octopus’s tentacle. No worries! The giant Pacific octopus has the ability to regenerate or regrow a lost limb. This is even more astonishing when you consider how complex their limbs are. Each tentacle has two rows of tiny suckers that can hold, taste, and manipulate objects, and a tentacle may have as many as 280 suckers. That means the number of suckers on all eight tentacles can total 2,240!
The female giant octopus will lay as many as 50,000 eggs all at once. She does not eat or sleep while she guards her eggs, and when the eggs hatch, she dies.
MORE AMAZING FACTS:
The largest giant Pacific octopus ever found lived in the North Pacific and had tentacles 33 feet long!
Like the sea horse and leafy sea dragon, an octopus can change the color and texture of its skin in order to blend perfectly with its environment. This camouflage helps protect them from predators.
“Sea Horse, run!” BOOK NOTES:
Featured on the cover and found on pages 12, 26, and 31 of the book.
FIND THIS OCTOPUS AT THE…
Monterey Bay Aquarium
This page has a great video of the giant Pacific octopus in action.
Royal British Columbia Museum
I visited this museum during a trip from Seattle to Victoria, BC in May of 2004. Yes, that is me squinting at the camera while standing beside a very “Egyptian” killer whale.
Gentle Giant Octopus Text ©1998 by Karen Wallace, Illustrations ©1998 by Mike Bostock
Published by Candlewick Press, Somerville, Massachusetts.