The Dumbo Octopus (Grimpoteuthis) can be found in any ocean and in depths up to 7000 meters below sea level. Dumbo Octopuses are most commonly found close to the sea bed, and scientists believe there are as many as 37 different species.
Unlike other octopuses, the Dumbo Octopus prefers to swallow its prey whole. While scouting the sea bed, Dumbo Octopus will feast mainly on worms and crustaceans and when away from it, will eat pelagic cope-pods.
The Dumbo Octopus’ name originates from the two fins that look like and are situated like ears. It uses these large fins to swim, making it a formidable swimmer. The Dumbo Octopus is illusive and not much is known about the species. The male and female are usually about the same size, but it is believed the male has larger suckers.
The Dumbo Octopus is an octopod, which means it has eight arms. The arms connect with each other, close to the tips, by “webbing”. The Dumbo Octopus can grow up to 8 inches and has a soft body, allowing it to live in deep water.
Image: Mike Vecchione, NOAA
The female lays eggs all year round instead of just in the breeding season. The male Dumbo Octopus has an enlarged segment on one of his arms that is used to transfer packets of sperm into the female’s mantle cavity. Once transferred, the packets will rupture so the sperm can fertilize the eggs. The female will then lay the eggs underneath rocks and shells and leave them to fend for themselves.