Updated: New Octopus at N. Oregon Coast's Seaside Aquarium
Updated 06/25/2015 at 2:34 AM PDT
(Seaside, Oregon) – The stork brought a new baby to the Seaside Aquarium almost two months ago – and it is still tiny. That stork was actually a crabber who found it and brought into the north Oregon coast attraction, and the baby is a Pacific Octopus. (Above: a previous shot of a full-grown octopus at the aquarium, taken by Tiffany Boothe. All photos here by Tiffany Boothe of the Aquarium).
Aquarium manager Keith Chandler said the minuscule critter was discovered in the bait pot of a crabber six weeks ago, and back then it was the size of a dime. Now, six months later, it's up to the size of about a quarter.
It's currently on display in the Seaside Aquarium, along with three other much larger octopuses. Touching them isn't allowed, however. Chandler said it's not healthy for the humans or the octopus.
Currently, the baby octopus looks like this: the small, translucent thing in the middle.
How big it will get is hard to say, but it takes almost its whole life span to get full size. Chandler said any sea creature gets larger in proportion to its environment, so the aquarium's smaller tanks will likely not result in anything large enough to go after a submarine, like in the works of Jules Verne.
“They only live for about three years,” Chandler said. “And it takes that long for them to get full size. In the wild they get up beyond 50 pounds. It's possible he'll grow larger, but in captivity he'll get about 30 pounds and spread out to six feet.”
Their bodies are incredibly bendable and pliable. They can fit through anything as small as a dime, as that is the size of the octopus' beak.
The Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) is found all over the northern Pacific Ocean, including the entire length of the Oregon coastline. Much like the octopuses found in Newport's Hatfield Marine Science Center, these are usually donated by fishermen or crabbers who've accidentally snared them.
“We feed them krill, herring, crab and clams,” Chandler said.
They each have their distinct personalities. Some have tried to escape their tanks more than others. The Hatfield has had some get awfully curious about pipes or the camera equipment that's part of the Octo Web Cam.
Chandler said they are all stubborn, but some like to play a kind of prank on those looking at it.
“Some are more stubborn than others,” Chandler said. “And then some, when they're in the open tank, they'll take a deep breath, get up to the surface and spit water at you. Just to mess with you.”
It's unknown if this is a male or female yet. To figure this out, you have to look at the third arm from the right eye. If it's smooth on the end, it's a male. If suckers go all the way to the end of the arm, then it's female.
Will this one get named? No, Chandler said. He tacitly admits staff gets quite attached to these creatures and considering their life span, naming it would hurt in the end even more.
“We don't name them cause they don't live that long,” Chandler said. “Not like the seals which live up to 30 years.”
Seaside Aquarium is on the Prom in Seaside, Oregon. 503-738-6211. More octopuses from the Seaside Aquarium below. More on Seaisde at the Seaside Virtual Tour, Map.
More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....
More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....
LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles
Back to Oregon Coast
Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net