Fun Animal Facts: Giant Pacific Octopus

Fun Animal Facts: Giant Pacific Octopus


Scientific name: Enteroctopus dofleini
What do you call more than one octopus? Although many believe the correct plural form of octopus is octopi, it’s actually octopuses.

Weight: Octopuses average 60 pounds, but they can weigh up to 150 – with an arm span of up to 20 feet across! It’s no wonder they’re the largest species of octopus in the world.

Life span: 3-5 years. At the Aquarium, we keep our octopuses for 6-12 months before releasing them back into Puget Sound to complete their life cycle and reproduce.

Growth rate: Octopuses gain 1-2 % of their body weight every day. That’s the equivalent of the average human gaining 2-4 pounds a day!

Boneless with a beak? Giant Pacific octopuses have no bones but they do have a beak, much like a parrot’s. This lack of bones allows them to fit in and through incredibly tight spaces, but their beaks put limits on that. In general, if they can fit their beaks through something, they can squeeze the rest of their bodies through as well.

Enrichment at the Seattle Aquarium: We’ve created a variety of activities, called enrichments, to help keep our resident octopuses healthy and happy. For instance, we do food puzzles to help bring out their natural behaviors and keep them mentally stimulated. We put food inside jars, pill bottles, ice toys – even Mr. Potato Head – and let them figure out how to retrieve it. We also do live food enrichment with their favorite foods, Dungeness crab and live clams.

Plan a visit to see our Giant Pacific Octopuses up close at the Seattle Aquarium and learn more about this wonderful animal from our naturalists during Octopus Talk.

Support the Seattle Aquarium

Your support connects people to the ocean in a way not otherwise possible and inspires bold action to care for animals and protect our shared marine environment.