Giant Pacific Octopus
Head to our Dinosaurs of the Deep Gallery to see one of the coolest and exotic of the deep ocean creatures: The Giant Pacific Octopus.
Many people are fans of the octopus, but few realize what an amazing animal it truly is. The Giant Pacific Octopus is one of the largest kinds of octopus in the world. An octopus's mouth has a parrot-like beak, which it uses to crack open crabs and other hard-shelled animals. That beak is the only hard part of an octopus's body; the rest is soft and squishy. Remarkably, an octopus can squeeze through any opening that's bigger than its beak. Usually, that's any space bigger than a quarter!
An octopus has 8 arms with each tentacle covered in about 280 suction cups (about 2240 in total). These suction cups are covered in taste buds, so if an octopus touches something, it also tastes it. The octopus is also extremely intelligent. Some biologists think that they are about as smart as your average housecat.
Some other interesting facts: an Octopus can re-grow lost arms; they can change both the color and the texture of their skin; they can drill through hard shells with their tongues; they can squirt ink to confuse other animals; they can travel by water-jet-propulsion; and they have blue blood and three hearts.