Common Name: North Pacific Giant Octopus

Scientific Name: Enteroctopus dofleini

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Mollusca

Class: Cephalopoda

Order: Octopoda

Family: Octopodidae

Genus: Enteroctopus

Species: E. dofleini

The North Pacific Giant Octopus is one of the two largest species of Octopi. There are scientists that claim that it is the largest species of its kind. Adults usually weigh around 15 kg (33 lbs.), with an arm span of 4.3 meters (14 ft.). Although there are unconfirmed reports of specimens of up to 270 kg (600 lbs) and arms spanning 9 m (30 feet). The mantle or “head “of the octopus contains most of the vital organs. Like all members of its family, the giant octopus can change colors to blend in with its environment.


E. dofleini lives in the North Pacific Ocean on the continental shelf. Its range is from southern California to Pacific Northwestern Americas, and across to Japan. The north Pacific giant octopus is usually found in depths of 65 meters (about 213 ft.). Although it can live in much shallower waters. Very little is known about how many of the E. dofleini there are; however the giant octopus is not on under the protection of CITES or the IUCN Redlist. But the E. dofleini is sensitive to water pollution, so the giant octopus may need conservation efforts in the future.


The E. dofleini The Octopus eats crabs, clams, fish, lobster, and they have even been known to eat birds! Large octopus can even eat sharks 3-4 feet long. The giant octopus eats its prey by grabbing the fish with its suckers, it then crushes its food with its “Beak”, and its beak is made of chitin. It is not known whom the E. dofleini competes with for food at the moment. This octopus is eaten by sperm whales, harbor seals, and sea otters. Also, the giant octopus has been commercially fished in the United States.


The giant octopus evades from being eaten by hiding in crevices in dens or under rocks. They fit in these crevices because their soft and fleshy skin allows them to get into small places. They may also lay eggs in these small crevices. As I read this report I was astounded at how the giant octopus can fit into such small places even though it looks fairly large. I also didn’t know that there were giant octopuses I thought there were only regular sized octopuses. Although there are giant squids, so there are giant octopuses. While I was doing this report I learned that giant octopi weigh 33 pounds and have an arm span of 14 feet, although there have been reports of these octopi weighing up to 600 pounds with an arm span of 30 feet. That is what I learned.


Author: Luke M

Published: 03/2008



"The National Zoological Park." The National Zoological Park. Smithsonian Institution. 08 Dec. 2006. "The National Zoological Park." The National Zoological Park. Smithsonian Institution. 08 Dec. 2006 .


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