Giant Pacific Octopus - World's Largest Octopus
The giant Pacific octopus is probably the world's largest octopus. One individual specimen was recorded weighing 157 pounds (71 kg) and claims have been made of up to 600 pounds (272 kg). The arm span of the octopus is between 14 and 30 feet (4.3 - 9). The seven-arm octopus (does it still qualify as an octopus with 7 arms? (Actually, despite its name, it does have eight arms)) could possibly be larger on average with the largest specimen been recorded at 134 pounds (61 kg), but that specimen had been dead for some time and its live wieght is estimated to have been larger. Most scientists believe, based on other collected specimens, that the giant Pacific octopus is the largest. Time will tell once more reliable measurements are taken. However the octopus is nowhere near the size of the largest cephalopod or invertebrate in the sea, that would be the colossal squid.
The giant Pacific octopus enjoys all the fruits of the sea such as abalone, clams, shrimp, crabs, scallops, other octopi, plenty of different fish and perhaps an occaisional shark. It grabs its prey with its suckers and crushes them with its beak or uses its venom to prepare the meat for dining. It does have to watch out for predators itself such as larger sea mammals like seal, sperm whales or even otters.
The giant Pacific octopus lives in the north Pacific along the coast at an average depth of 210 ft (65 m) but can be found at shallower and deeper depths. It is a master of disguise, able to change the color of its skin so that it can blend in with its surroundings, for example imitating a rock on the sea floor. It is known as a very smart invertebrate showing signs of a good memory and curiosity.