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What is a Dumbo Octopus?

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  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2016
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The dumbo octopus is a type of octopus that lives in some of the deepest parts of the sea, and for this reason it is not commonly seen by people. Some of these octopuses live as deep as 4 miles (7000 m) below the surface of the ocean. The dumbo octopus is orange to silver in color, and it has large fins on each side of its body that some people believe look very similar to elephant ears. The ears of this type of octopus are why scientists began referring to it as the dumbo octopus, which is a reference to the elephant cartoon character of the same name who was known for having very large ears. This octopus also has eight arms, and the arms are connected to one another through webbing, which might aid in swimming.

In general, the dumbo octopus is not an incredibly large sea creature. The majority of these octopuses do not exceed 8 inches (20 cm) in height. Scientists have observed that the dumbo octopus usually spends most of its time hovering along the bottom of the ocean floor searching for food. This type of octopus tends to eat small sea creatures like shrimp, crabs, and some types of small fish. Another way that the dumbo octopus differs from most other octopuses is that it swallows its food whole rather than biting it.

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Scientists have been able to dissect various dumbo octopuses in the past to learn more about them. One thing that scientists have discovered is that these octopuses don't have any specific breeding periods. Most types of sea life breed during certain times of the year, but female dumbo octopuses have been found several different times in various stages of development with eggs inside them. This likely means that these octopuses breed continuously all year. Females usually lay their eggs in safe places along the ocean floor, such as under shells or buried beneath rocks.

The fact that the dumbo octopus lives in such deep areas of the sea means that scientists have not been able to learn as much about them as they would like. Scientists are not even certain as to how many of these octopuses exist in the ocean. In spite of the fact that there is no estimate on the population of these octopuses, scientists do not think they are endangered. It is likely that as more of the octopuses are discovered, scientists will begin to learn more about them.

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