Deep in the ocean... we will find this animal so strange and nice. It is a subgenus of octopus that lives between 3,000 and 5,000 meters deep.
Its scientific name is Grimpoteuthis, although it is better known by the octopus dumbo, thanks to its pair of fins that resemble the ears of an elephant.
This small cephalopod about 20 centimeters long, living in such deep areas, does not get sunlight, and therefore has that white color, or those shades so clear and pale.
Living in the abyssal zone, very little is known about it, but I will tell you some of its most characteristic features.
How do we recognize him?
It lives on the seabed (abyssal zone) can be found floating slightly above it, at depths of 3,000 to 4,000 m (9,800-13,000 feet). The similarity of the lobe fins that protrude from the top of the mantle, gave him the nickname Dumbo, like the well-known Disney character... Dumbo the Flying Elephant. There are about 17 species of Dumbo octopus, which belong to a group called "umbrella octopus", since they are able to float as if they were umbrellas in the water. These species are capable of molting the skin; the structure of their mouth is different from the rest of the octopus. They have a radula opening that allows them to swallow whole prey instead of having to break and grind it. This characteristic makes them unique.
They have a semi-transparent body, with a cartilaginous internal "U" or in the lining, which gives them a little shape. Some have suction cups in addition to thorns in all their tentacles, while others look more like a traditional octopus, with the addition of blue or other colored fins on their "ears". Their prominent lobe-shaped fins, protrude from the layer just above the eyes, also tell you that they are almost blind, and that they have eight tentacles.
Most specimens of this species measure between 20-30 cm (7.9 to 12 inches) in length. The largest Dumbo octopus found was 1.8 m (6 feet 32 inches) long and weighed 5.9 kg (13 lb).
How does it feed?
To eat down to the abyssal depths, they pounce on the prey and eat it all. Their diet includes copepods, isopods, polychaetes and amphipods. Much of the food they eat is also found around ocean vents or floating in the current, and with that characteristic so characteristic of it, and not shared by the rest of the octopus, it devours its entire prey instead of having to break and molercom like the others do.
Where is it?
It has been found in New Zealand and Australia, Monterey Bay, California, Oregon, Philippines and Papua New Guinea.
How does it reproduce?
Grimpoteuthis has one of the most unique breeding functions of all marine life. Females lay their eggs at different stages, which means there is no breeding season, they can lay eggs continuously, spawn on small rocks or shells deep in the ocean.
There is still a lot to discover about this strange and sympathetic animal.
Thank you for reading
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