“I say, this is one of the most beautiful creatures on this planet, one of the smartest, one of the most interesting, and one of the most alien”
There are about 300 species of octopus, but the giant Pacific octopus is the largest, averaging 16 feet in length, and 110 pounds. It’s also the longest-lived octopus; even so, its life span is only about three to five years.
“They have such personalities,” Murphy said. “Each octopus is different. So, when you work this closely with them and you’re interacting with them on a regular basis, you build a relationship with them.”
“That’s gotta be difficult that they live such short lives,” said Reid.
“It is. It is. It’s very difficult. But you enjoy the time you have.”
To learn more, Reid headed down to Cape Cod where he met Bret Grasse of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. He’s responsible for the care and feeding of the lab’s octopuses, and stocks up on their favorite food: tiny grass shrimp.
Next stop: the beach for another octopus delicacy – crabs.
Back at the lab, the day was about to get a lot better for a small California two-spot octopus – and a lot worse for one of those crabs.
Of all the octopus’ oddities, perhaps the most extraordinary is its talent for disguise. The octopus changes its shape, colors, patterns, even the texture of its skin, to look like seaweed, and does it in the blink of an eye. It’s called dynamic camouflage…