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Blog: Giant Pacific Octopus

The octopus - our thriving neighbor

The octopus - our thriving neighbor

We’re all familiar with the many animals that live among us as they forage for food and navigate around buildings and parks throughout the city. But you might be surprised by new research that shows that a very different neighbor, our very own giant Pacific octopus, has something in common with these city-dwelling animals.

How many octopuses are in Puget Sound? Census seeks to answer questions about the remarkable giant Pacific octopus.

How many octopuses are in Puget Sound? Census seeks to answer questions about the remarkable giant Pacific octopus.

The giant Pacific octopus (GPO) is the largest octopus species in the world—yet little is known of its biology and ecology. Nor is it possible to know exactly how many GPOs are living in Puget Sound.

Cephalo-fun at the Seattle Aquarium

Cephalo-fun at the Seattle Aquarium

As we finish up Octopus Week, February 18–26, we thought we’d share the love with a couple amazing relatives of the giant Pacific octopus.

Birds, bees and octopuses

Birds, bees and octopuses

As you may already know, we couldn’t play Cupid to giant Pacific octopuses Pancake and Raspberry this year—turns out Cupid’s arrow had already hit the mark with female Raspberry, who started laying eggs before her blind date with male Pancake. 

Get ready for Octopus Week at the Seattle Aquarium!

Get ready for Octopus Week at the Seattle Aquarium!

In anticipation of Octopus Week, February 18–26, as well as our Octopus Blind Date on February 14 (Valentine’s Day!), we asked Senior Aquarist Kathryn Kegel to answer a few questions for us.

And the results are in! 2016 octopus census

And the results are in! 2016 octopus census

Last month, during our annual octopus census, Aquarium staff and divers from around Puget Sound counted 41 giant Pacific octopuses (GPOs) at 13 locations. Below is a Q&A with Senior Aquarist Kathryn Kegel about the results.

A tough day counting octopuses in Puget Sound

A tough day counting octopuses in Puget Sound

Going to work can be such a drag, right? You get up early and choose an outfit for the day…then there’s the commute…and when you finally arrive, it feels like you’re surrounded by a bunch of wild animals!

GPO

More than meets the eye: octopus age and maturity

We can look at another human being and estimate their age pretty easily—but it’s not so simple with octopuses. Scientists haven’t yet found a reliable way to identify the age of giant Pacific octopuses (or GPOs), since no part of the animal’s body, even the beak, shows any growth rings or other measures. 

Octopus census update

Octopus census update

The Seattle Aquarium is making some changes to our annual giant Pacific octopus (GPO) census, which means we won’t be doing the annual count (which in recent years has been conducted over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend) this winter.

 

Seattle Aquarium hosts second biennial giant Pacific octopus workshop

Seattle Aquarium hosts second biennial giant Pacific octopus workshop

Over 70 octopus experts and enthusiasts gathered at the Seattle Aquarium on Saturday, March 29 for our second biennial giant Pacific octopus (GPO) workshop. The day-long event highlighted current research on Enteroctopus dofleini, the world’s largest species of octopus. 

Giant Pacific octopus protection update

Giant Pacific octopus protection update

In November of last year news reports of the killing of a giant Pacific octopus near Alki Point raised questions about the possible need for protective measures for the species. 

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