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The Giant Pacific Octopus at the Living Coast


SuperWild, Super Smart Giant Pacific Octopus

Our SuperWild exhibit (rNew Howieunning now through Labor Day!) features animals with adaptations so amazing they’re like super powers. These adaptations have to do with strength, speed, and camouflage — among others — and our giant Pacific octopus has all of those adaptations and more. In fact, our giant Pacific octopus (Latin name: Enteroctopus dofleini) is in the running to be the Living Coast Animal Ambassador with the most SuperWild adaptations.

For example, the giant Pacific octopus can change colors, mainly to blend in with its surroundings, but also to reflect different moods. As invertebrates, they can squeeze themselves into a space no larger than the size of their beak. The giant Pacific octopus also grows bigger and lives longer than any other octopus species.

Giant Pacific octopusIf that weren’t enough, they can also change the contours of their skin to blend in with rocks and coral! While they primarily eat clams, lobsters, and fish, they have been known to attack and eat sharks and even birds, using their sharp, beak-like mouths to puncture and tear flesh. Oh, and our giant Pacific octopus, Howie, just might be smartest animal on exhibit at the Living Coast…

The brain of an octopus increases in both size and cell number throughout its entire life. They also have nerve cords down the center of each arm to carry information between the brain and taste buds on their suckers. Octopuses have been seen opening jars, running mazes and imitating other octopuses.

 Come see one of the most SuperWild Animal Ambassadors and visit us at the Living Coast. You can also read more on octopus intelligence here, check out this short video of Howie, and enjoy the photos below.


 Our source for some of this information was the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.


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