The giant Pacific octopus is a common resident off Oregon's coast. It is a predator that dines on crab, shrimp, crustaceans, shellfish, smaller octopuses, and fish, and 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 animals. An octopus can spend several hours feeding on one crab and will usually remain dormant until finished.
The octopus is known as the most intelligent invertebrate and exhibits clear signs of both curiosity and memory. Octopuses have been observed climbing out of one tank to grab nearby food in another. 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 70,000 eggs and will care for them until they hatch. A lot of energy goes into reproduction; both adults will die shortly after the hatch.
The territorial nature of this animal makes it nearly impossible to keep more than one in a single tank.
Predators include lingcod, dogfish, seals, sea otters - and humans.
You may be able to watch aquarists feed our octopus, and learn more about its habits, during your visit. Check the feeding schedule.