Creature Feature: Dumbo Octopus

Credit: Ed Bowlby, NOAA/Olympic Coast NMS; NOAA/OAR/Office of Ocean Exploration

Photo Credit: Ed Bowlby, NOAA/Olympic Coast NMS; NOAA/OAR/Office of Ocean Exploration

We’ve shown you the eerie, the creepy and even the disturbing.  Now to end our month of deep sea creatures we give you the cute: the Dumbo Octopus, Grimpoteuthis spp. You will find this octopus in depths up to 13000 ft making this invertebrate the deepest living octopus! As you’ve probably guessed, the Dumbo octopus gets its name from the classic Disney elephant with ears big enough to fly. This octopus has two fins on top of its mantle, giving it the striking resemblance to Dumbo the elephant.  (Magic feather not included.)

The average size of this adorable creature is eight to 12 inches, though they can get larger. The largest Dumbo octopus ever found was 6ft! This octopus differs from its shallow water relatives the way they feed. The Dumbo octopus has a modified radula, or a rough, toothy sort of tongue. Their modified radula helps this octopus eat their prey whole instead of ripping and tearing them apart.

There is not much known about the cuddly-looking Dumbo octopus but, by venturing into the deep sea to study these creatures, scientists are continuing to discover new information.

References:

Photos curtosy of NOAA Digital Library

http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/onlinelearningcenter/species/dumbo_octopus

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/15/dumbo-octopus-video_n_5312440.html

http://www.critters360.com/index.php/facts-about-the-dumbo-octopus-1587/

Image ID: expl1113, Voyage To Inner Space – Exploring the Seas With NOAA Collect
Location: Washington, Olympic Coast NMS
Credit: Ed Bowlby, NOAA/Olympic Coast NMS; NOAA/OAR/Office of Ocean Exploration 

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