This is a rather strange and unusual creature, we call this the Dumbo Octopus. These octopuses can be found in the deep waters, somewhat between 9,800 and 13,000 feet down below. The Dumbo octopus is from the umbrella octopus family, due to all the tentacles interlinking with each other through a thin bit of skin. When the octopus is viewed from the bottom it looks like an umbrella. Surprisingly based on the photo you would have through that these octopuses would only grow small however they have been measured up to 5 feet long.
They get their name Dumbo from there fins located as you can see at the top to their head. It is in reference to the Disney film Dumbo. They will use these fins to hover over the ocean floor looking for food such as worms, crustaceans and bivalves of the sea. They don’t have any teeth or chew their food so instead, they swallow their food whole. The suckers are equipped with what is called cirri, these will pin down the prey during hunting.
Due to the depths that these octopuses live at they don’t have many predators, only sharks and killer whales. However, they are more likely to die due to their short lifespan believed to only be about 3-5 years. Unlike most octopuses, they don’t carry a sac of ink to escape from predators. this is because they live in the dark and it would be useless. On the other hand, they will copy all octopuses and use jet propulsion in order to escape.
The difference between a male and a female Dumbo Octopus is the length of the suckers.
The females will tend to have smaller suckers compared to the males, along with this the male will have an additional 2 tentacles which he uses during mating. The short life span doesn’t give them much chance to reproduce if they were to do it once per year. However, the females have adapted to carry multiple eggs during maturation. The male will release a sperm packet and the female will pick up the packet she sees fit for the eggs. She will only release the eggs when she believes the time is right, she will lay eggs on a rock or surface and leave the babies to fend for themselves.
Interesting Fact that you didn’t know before reading this
When Taken out of the water the octopus will considerably shrink due to the pressure drop. Even when being preserved the head will shrink and legs will grow larger.