Wild Fact #755 – Disneyland of the Ocean – Dumbo Octopus

Photo Courtesy of “The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss” by Claire Nouvian

For many of my friends in Canada they are at home right now relaxing and enjoying their Civic Holiday.  Unfortunately in the Yukon we don’t recognize Civic Holiday and instead take August 16th off in honour of Discovery Days.  This was the day the famous Gold Rush started in the Yukon way back in 1896. I wanted to thank everyone who took time out of their busy long weekend to stop by today and learn about the Dumbo Octopus.  Yes, we are heading to the water to learn about an octopus with ears.

Okay, so I may have mislead you in that previous sentence but I wanted to keep you interested.  The Dumbo Octopus doesn’t actually have ears but rather two fins that look like and are situated in the same place as ears. Who knows, maybe our ears started out as fins too!  Okay, I highly doubt that but it is funny to think about. Unfortunately these “ears” don’t let the octopus fly like they did with a certain elephant but they do allow the Dumbo Octopus to be a very proficient swimmer.   This speed can be witnessed as they are escaping a would-be predator.

So we know they have big ears….err, fins, but let’s find out a little more about this special octopus.  For starters the largest dumbo octopus ever recorded was about 2 m (6′) long and only weighed 13 pounds.  Makes you wonder what type of diet they are on to be that tall, yet that skinny.  How is that for the perfect segue into their diet? The Dumbo Octopus are either bottom dwellers or will hover just above the ocean floor where they consume worms, crustaceans, bivalves, and zoo-plankton such as copepods.  Unlike other octopi the Dumbo Octopus will often swallow their prey whole.  Maybe that is how they keep their thin figure.  No matter the reason, after looking at what they eat, I think I am quite happy with my current weight.

Dumbo Octopus Fast Fact – It will be tough to witness the Dumbo Octopus on a typical snorkeling adventure as they are usually found at depths ranging from 400 m to 4800 m (1312 – 15748 feet).

If you want to see first hand why this Octopus is named after the famous Disney Elephant then I suggest checking out this beautifully done video below.  I hope you enjoy the ballet and today’s Wild Fact.  Have a great day!

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