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

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!


  1. Avatar
    Janiss August 02, 2010

    I had no idea that octopi did ballet! Fascinating creature.

    • Avatar
      Nathan August 02, 2010

      Oh Yes! They are quite the graceful swimmers. I believe this one begged his/her parents to put him/her in ballet school at age 2. As you can tell the lessons have definitely paid off!

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    Mom & Dad August 02, 2010

    O.K. is he sticking his tongue out at us???????????? LOL

    • Avatar
      Nathan August 02, 2010

      It sure does look like a tongue doesn’t it? Don’t worry, our little Dumbo Octopus is not that rude. It is actually a siphon which assists in propulsion. In fact it is that little “tongue” that helps the octopus hover just above the ocean floor while looking for food.

      Thanks for the great question.

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    Grace August 02, 2010

    The first pic is just so cute and the video is way cool! I posted it on Facebook and Tweeted it. Really nifty!

    • Avatar
      Nathan August 02, 2010

      Thanks for posting it on Facebook and Twitter. I really enjoyed the video as well. I found this particular animal to be very fascinating.

      • Avatar
        bailie April 03, 2012

        @Nathan, i am 11 years old.i am doing a report at my school.thank for this website.it helped me alot on my report

        • Avatar
          Nathan April 04, 2012

          Glad to hear Wild Facts helped with your project, Bailie!

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    Agapelife August 02, 2010

    After the video, I think I will re-name this creature – graceful octopus!

    • Avatar
      Nathan August 02, 2010

      Graceful Octopus actually sounds better than Dumbo Octopus. It even sounds better than their original name which was “Jelly Heads”. Okay, that last one sounds fun but I still vote for Graceful Octopus.

  5. Avatar
    Eymekul January 24, 2012

    So cute!!

  6. Avatar
    alli November 10, 2012

    omg im doing a project too

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