|Please add an image!|
|Scientific Name||Enteroctopus dofleini|
|Conservation Status||Least Concern|
|Habitat||Sea floors of North Pacific coasts|
|Food||Fish, mollusks, crabs|
The North Pacific Giant Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) is a large cephalopod belonging to the genus Enteroctopus. It can be found in the coastal North Pacific, usually at a depth of around 65 meters (215 ft). It can, however, live in much shallower or much deeper waters. It is arguably the largest octopus species, based on a scientific record of a 71 kg (156.5 lb) individual weighed live. The alternative contender is the Seven-arm Octopus based on a 61 kg (134 lb) carcass estimated to have a live mass of 75 kg (165 lb). However, there are a number of questionable size records that would suggest E. dofleini is the largest of all octopus species by a considerable margin.
This species of octopus commonly preys upon shrimp, crabs, scallops, abalone, clams, and fish. Food is procured with its suckers and then crushed using its tough "beak" made of chitin. They have also been observed in captivity catching Spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias) of up to 3-4 feet in length. Additionally, consumed carcasses of this same shark species have been found in Giant Pacific Octopus middens in the wild, providing strong evidence that these octopuses predate on sharks in their natural habitat.
Very little is known about the population of this solitary creature and the North Pacific Giant Octopus is not currently under the protection of CITES or the IUCN Red List.