...where you can learn about some of the fascinating marine animals that call the HMSC Visitor Center home.
The giant Pacific octopus is a common resident off Oregon's coast. It is a predator that dines on crab, shrimp, shellfish, smaller octopuses, and fish. It can chase its prey by "running" or jetting after prey animals and capturing them with its arms. Then the octopus uses its parrot-like beak, located at the center of its soft body, to deliver a venom that paralyses and liquefies the meat of its prey. An octopus can spend several hours feeding on one crab and will usually remain hidden until finished.
The octopus is known as the most intelligent invertebrate and demonstrates clear signs of both curiosity and memory. An octopus can unscrew jars, uncork champagne bottles, and mimic the behavior of a neighboring octopus.
Octopuses live in rocky dens and will defend their territory until it is time to mate. Females lay 50,000 to 100,000 eggs and will care for them until they hatch. A lot of energy goes into reproduction; both adults die shortly after the eggs hatch.
Predators include lingcod, dogfish, seals, sea otters - and humans.
Learn more about the giant Pacific octopus during your visit. Join us for a feeding.
You can also watch online via the live, streaming OctoCam! Be sure to tune in at feeding time and listen in as our staff and volunteers talk about octopus biology and behavior.
To learn more about fish and other marine animals, visit