Life of Octopus Dofleini


This is a research report on octopuses in general, however will focus in
on a particular species of octopus, the North Pacific Giant or octopus dofleini ,
which is a bottom dwelling octopus that lives on coasts of the pacific ocean,
from California to north Japan. This report will cover the habitat, and
lifestyle of this amazing mollusk, that is so often misunderstood. The octopus
is a very intelligent, and resourceful invertebrate whose natural abilities
should make this a fairly interesting reading.


The spawning of the giant pacific may occur at any time of the year,
however the mating of the octopus peaks in the winter months, with the peak of
egg laying in April and may. Octopuses reproduce sexually, and have both male
and female octopuses. Reproduction takes place as follows: The male octopus
uses his tentacle to take a mass of spermatophore from within his mantle cavity,
he then inserts it into the oviduct, in the mantle cavity of the female. This
process occurs at depths from 20-100m and, lasts hours. With female octopuses
receiving spermatophore up to 1m long.
Female octopus seem to prefer larger males as mates and male octopus may
mate with more than one female in their life span, however the male octopus only
lives a few months after breeding, and the female will die shortly after the
eggs hatch.
Incubation can take from 150 days to seven or more months. The female
may produce any where from 20,000 to 100,000 eggs over a period of several days.
During incubation the female octopus will take to cleaning and aerating the eggs.
This takes place at a depth of less than 50 meters


After hatching, the baby octopus (or larvae) take on the role of
plankton, drifting around the ocean feeding on neuston (dead food) as opposed to
hunting live prey. This stage on an average lasts for 30-90 days.
Without mating the octopus may survive up to five years, and Giant
Pacific octopus have been found to reach a weight of 600 pounds, and an
estimated width of over 31 feet, But the average size is only 100 pounds and 3m,
still weighing in as the largest species of octopus.
During their life span, many octopus fall victim to fatal, and non-fatal
predation. Therefore a high percentage of octopus are mutilated or missing arms,
this percentage increases in octopus that live in deep water, perhaps this is
because older octopus tend to occupy deeper waters and would naturally have more
battle scars. However larger octopus are less prone to these injuries. Among
the predators of octopus are, other octopus, sea otters, seals, sea lions, and

In finding a den an octopus is a very resourceful animal. Although most
octopuses prefer to make natural rock crevices, and underground caves their dens
smaller octopus tend to excavate areas of sea floor to build their own den, and
still other octopuses prefer to occupy man made dens, such as ship wrecks.
Although the octopus is not territorial, and may only occupy a particular den
for a few weeks at a time, the den seems to be a important aspect of the
octopuses life. The octopus uses its den for hatching its eggs, feeding, and
even retreats to its den to hide from predators such as other octopuses, and
seals. A common site marking the entrance to an octopuses den is a pile of
shells, and other refuge discarded after feeding. Although dens are an
important place to the octopus, octopuses are very mobile animals.

Octopuses feed on everything from smaller octopus, to crustaceans, but a
favorite food appears to be crab, and shrimp. As a general rule octopuses hunt
prey during hours of darkness, and retreat to their den to feed. Many octopus
over take prey with use of venom of varying strengths, while others simply
capture prey and consume them with their bird like beak.

As in other aspects of the octopuses life, it is very resourceful, and
interesting in its defenses and hunting techniques. Some species of octopus,
such as the Blue ringed variety (Hapalochlaena lunulata) Are deadly poisonous to
man. This octopus can administer its poison in two ways, it can either bite
with its bird like beak, or release its poison into the water surrounding its
prey. This poison attacks the nervous, and respiratory systems of man, causing
death in roughly one hour. There is no known anti-venom, so the only way to
survive an attack is through the