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Dumbo! the octopus?

Not all deep sea creatures are scary and menacing. This cute little guy is fitting named the Dumbo Octopus (Grimpoteuthis). They have huge floppy fins that look like Dumbo’s elephant ears. These floppy ear-like protrusions help them move along the ocean floor, looking for shelter and food.

So why don’t we hear more about this guy? The dumbo octopus is found in the Pacific Ocean. We don’t see this particular octopus as often, because they are the deepest living of this species, living usually between 9,000-13,000 feet below sea level. Living that far below sea level makes them very cold blooded creatures, as they live in almost complete darkness. They range in size usually between 7-12 inches, and the largest one found was weighing 13 pounds. Of course, they have ink sacs just like other octopuses.

There is little known about this particular species and they were discovered fairly recently. Conservationists are unsure about the total population of this octopus. They are difficult to find and track, mostly because of the depth that they live in. Because they are so rare, it is sometimes difficult for them to find a mate, in order to breed. So this breed has specialized reproductive organs that increase the likelihood of pregnancy. Unlike other mammals, the female always carries eggs in her body. Her body is also able to store sperm for long periods of time which allows her to wait to fertilize the most developed egg at the exact right time.

Much like Dumbo does in the cartoon, moving through the air with his ears, Dumbo octopus’ move by flapping their ears(fins) through the water. They are foraging predators meaning they eat pelagic invertebrates that swim along the ocean floor.

I find them to be quite cute actually and I hope we learn much more about them in the future!

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Callie Farr

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