The “Dumbo Octopus” is purportedly named after Walt Disney’s famous character “Dumbo” the elephant because of it’s ear-like fins. These interesting animals can be found in all oceans of the world. They can be rarely seen because they are living on the bottom of the sea on a depth ranging from 1,300 to 23,000 feet. Other species of octopi live in shallower waters. Since not much is known about dumbo octopi, they are not considered to be endangered species.
Interesting Dumbo octopus Facts:
- Most species of dumbo octopi are small in size, usually with 8 inches in length. Largest ever recorded specimen measured 6 feet in length and weight of 13 pounds.
- Dumbo octopus has soft, head-shaped body with 8 arms. They are connected with each other via thin flaps of the skin. Two ear-like fins are positioned on both sides of the “head”.
- Males and females can be distinguished by the length of the suckers. Males have longer suckers and two tentacles that play role during mating.
- Color of the body can be red, green or orange.
- Arms and flippers are used for swimming. Arms are equipped with small harpoon-like barbs that are designed to hold the prey.
- Dumbo octopus can swim by flapping the fins, by contracting and expanding its arms or by propelling the water from the funnel. Animal can use each of these techniques separately or swim by combining all of them.
- Fastest swimming is associated with quick release of water from the funnel. This technique is used when dumbo octopus needs to escape from the predators.
- Since dumbo octopus spends most of its life on the great depths, it does not have a lot of predators. Main predators of dumbo octopi are sharks and killer whales.
- Dumbo octopus eat different type of crustaceans, bivalve, worms on the sea bottom and copepods (that are part of the zoo-plankton) when they swim near the surface of the water.
- Dumbo octopus swallows the prey whole. For that reason, size of the prey never exceeds 1-2 mm.
- Dumbo octopus does not have mating season. Female is able to deposit eggs throughout the whole year.
- One arm of males has a large segment that is used to deliver packages of sperm into female’s body.
- Eggs are fertilized inside the female’s body. She stores the eggs in different phases of development inside her body. – Eggs that reach required maturity will be released and placed under the rocks or shells.
- Female does not take care of the youngsters. Length of the hatching period is unknown. Newly born dumbo octopi are large in size, well developed and able to survive on their own.
- Average lifespan of dumbo octopus is between 3 and 5 years.
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