Tuesday, April 5, 2011
D is for Dumbo Octopus
Isn't he adorable?
The dumbo octopus, so named for his odd nose-like projection and unusually large "ear" flaps, is a deep sea critter, hovering around 3000-4000 meters below sea level. While they are predominantly pelagic, meaning they bob about smack in the middle of the water --away from shore and away from the sea bottom--they will approach the sea floor to hunt crustaceans and other small fish. Unlike other octopi, the dumbo octopus will consume its prey whole.
The genus of dumbo octopi (Grimpoteuthis) can grow up to 6 feet long and weigh in at a massive...13 pounds. But typically they are much smaller than that. Grimpoteuthis is among the rarest of the octopi, and is losing species left and right... mostly to other genera, as we learn more about them.
Photo from “The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss” by Claire Nouvian/Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute