The Giant Pacific Octopus is the largest species and longest living of octopus in the world. Male and female GPO’s are about the same weight, on average anywhere from 22 to 110 pounds and can live anywhere from 3 to 5 years! They live in isolated dens and are real neat freaks, and they are constantly cleaning their den, leaving empty shells and other mitten outside their den. The only time that GPO’s interact with each other is during mating. They are terminal breeders they only mate once, like salmon, and after the female lays her eggs (20,000 to 100,000 eggs!) she stops eating and slowly passes away and the male will also pass away shortly after. Out of the over 20,000 eggs laid, only two or three will reach maturity.
The Giant Pacific Octopus has eight arms. Each arm can be roughly six feet long and each arm can have 800 suction cups. The only solid part of the octopus is the beak (like a bird beak) it also acts as the mouth of the octopus. They will eat clams, mussels, crabs, fish, and pretty much anything they can get their arms on! Their largest predators are harbor seals and sperm whales.
The Giant Pacific Octopus’ population status is believed to be stable in the Puget Sound, but it’s hard to determine exactly how many there are. The Seattle Aquarium spearheads an octopus census every year to try to find out exactly how many there are.