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November 20, 2011
Enteroctopus dofleini (Octopodidae) Distribution: Range throughout temperate Pacific waters, from southern California north to Alaska, west to the Aleutian Islands and Japan. Habitat: Occur in intertidal zones and to depths up to 750 m. Appearance: Large bulbous "head" (mantle) with 8 tentacles bearing suckers. Very large specimens can have a tentacle span of more than 9 m from tip to tip, and weigh more than 45 kg. Enteroctopus dofleini DIET: Mostly crustaceans (shrimps, crabs, scallops,) and mollusks (abalones, clams); fish and other octopuses are also eaten. Shells of prey that are difficult to pull or bite open can be "drilled" in order to gain access to the soft tissue: salivary secretions soften the shell, and a tiny hole is created with the radula (a toothed, hardened "tongue"). The octopus then secretes a toxin that paralyzes the prey and begins to dissolve it. The shell is pulled apart and the soft tissues are consumed.MORTALITY/LONGEVITY: Predators include marine mammals (harbor seals, sea otters, and sperm whales). Also, occasionally are eaten by others of their own kind and are caught commercially. Life span in the wild is 3-5 years. CC20 11-18-11 Alternate Photos: www.calacademy.org/nophoto
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