Our newest resident, a Giant Pacific Octopus, is named “Triton” and actually he is just a little guy right now… Triton is shy and precious and is about 3 feet across when he stretches, but he is growing very fast.
Triton is estimated to be about a year old. He has already doubled in size since he started his residence at Portland Aquarium, growing from a weight of 1.47kg to a weight of 2.80kg in less than two months.
Portland Aquarium Staff conducted a poll for naming the Giant Pacific Octopus on our Facebook page. The name Triton won with 38% of the vote! Staff members chose 4 options to let the public pick from: Triton, Poseidon, Luca, and Squiggles.
Giant Pacific Octopuses (GPOs) are considered the largest octopus species in the world reaching sizes of up to 25 feet across! These solitary, nocturnal predators spend most of the day inside of a rocky den and typically come out of their den at night to hunt for food. Like other octopus species, GPOs are masters of disguise, having the ability to instantaneously change both the color and texture of their skin in order to stay hidden as they hunt.
In addition to their impressive camouflage capabilities, Giant Pacific Octopuses are also quite intelligent. Every day, Triton’s keepers open up his tank to interact with him, play, and challenge him to solve new puzzles. So far, one of Triton’s favorite ways to find a meal is when it is hidden inside the back hatch of a Mr. Potato Head! He enjoys eating shrimp, squid, various types of fish, and the occasional live food item!
You can learn even more about Triton at 12pm and 5pm each day when aquarium staff members give interactive educational talks about him in front of his tank. Also check out Portland Aquarium’s latest educational display features new sharks that are known as juvenile epaulette sharks, also known as “Walking Sharks.”
Here’s a video of our Giant Pacific Octopus, Triton, on the move exploring his exhibit earlier this week. The most common way for octopuses to move is by walking around on their arms, shown in this video. Just like a squid, an octopus is also able to move by jetting in order to make a quick getaway, sometimes expelling an ink cloud in the process to confuse a potential predator. Octopuses are also capable of simply swimming through the water, though this is their slowest means of locomotion.