Like sea chameleons that are much cooler and much weirder? Then you’ll love this episode with all three of your hearts!


Can some octopuses eat sharks? Do octopuses have extra of more of their body parts than their arms? What’s the difference between tentacles and arms? Is it “octopuses” or “octopi”? Just how big does the Giant in Giant Pacific Octopus mean? Are octopus like sea chameleons but MUCH better and MUCH weirder? Today with your host, Devon, and co-hosts, Chet and Cap, you will learn everything there is to know about the Giant Pacific Octopus, Enteroctopus dofleini.

The next episode is an April Fools Day special, so no riddle. You can send in your questions and episode suggestions to animals@kingdomanimaliapod.com and our website is at https://kingdomanimaliapod.com/kazpk.

Until next time, keep exploring this amazing Kingdom: Animalia.

**🎈PS: Devon’s turned twelve!!🎈**

 

Kingdom: Animalia - A Zoology Podcast for Kids is an animal podcast from Kingdom: Animalia Podcasts.

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Read the Transcript for this Episode

00:00
SOUNDS: [Intro music]

BACKGROUND: [Theme music starts]

DEVON: Hello and welcome to Kingdom: Animalia - A Zoology Podcast for Kids. Do you remember what was going to be different today?

CHET: Chicka No.

CAP: Chicka No. Chicka Me either. Chicka Remind me.

CHET: Chicka Yeah. Chicka No idea. Chicka Tell us.

DEVON: Are you two serious?

CHET: Chicka No. Chicka We’re just Chicka Joking.

CAP: Chicka Y-yeah. Chicka Totally didn’t Chicka forget.

CHET: Chicka Cap! Chicka Shh!

CAP: Chicka Yeah. Chicka B-but how Chicka about you Chicka just repeat Chicka it. Chicka Y’know, just Chicka for the Chicka listeners.

DEVON: Mm-hmm. So this month… is my birthday! Now I’m twelve!

SOUNDS: [Party Horn sound]

CAP: Chicka Oh, right!!

CHET: Whispering: Chicka Cap!

CAP: Chicka I mean: Chicka Of course! Chicka We totally Chicka remembered it Chicka was your Chicka birthday!

CHET: Chicka Yeah. Chicka We did Chicka remember.

DEVON: Then did you get me a birthday present?

CAP+CHET: Chicka Uhh…

DEVON: *Sigh* Chet and Cap…

CAP+CHET: Chicka Just kidding! Chicka Here!

SOUNDS: [Ta-da!]

BACKGROUND: [Happy Birthday song plays]

DEVON: You two, let’s see.

SOUNDS: [Ripping sound]

DEVON: Oh, wow! A bag of birdseed and a pack of chickadee sized caps! Thank you!

SOUNDS: [Happy Birthday song ends]

DEVON: We’ll have to talk about thinking too much about yourselves when you get presents.Okay. If you forgot, or if you’re listening for the first time, I’m your host, Devon, and these are my co-hosts…,

CHET: Chicka …Chet…,

CAP: Chicka …and Cap!

DEVON: …and today, on episode six of Kingdom: Animalia we’re learning about—what I’ve long been awaiting—the Giant Pacific Octopus, Enteroctopus doflieni; the world’s largest octopus and brainiest invertebrate. Enjoy.

SOUNDS: [Snap]

BACKGROUND: [Theme music fades out]

SOUNDS: [Animal Misconceptions Debunked chime]

DEVON: Before we fully start off, I’m introducing a new segment. I call it “Animal Misconceptions <Debunked><echo>”. We have two today. The first is tentacles. Octopuses don’t actually have tentacles, they have eight arms. In cephalopods—those are octopuses, squids, cuttlefish, nautiloids, and Vampire Squids—arms are shorter and more muscular with suckers going all the way down. Tentacles are longer and with suckers only at their ends. So octopuses have eight arms. Squids also have eight arms, plus two tentacles. Now for the second octopus kind-of-misconception. Do you call the plural of octopus “octopuses” or “octopi”? So the explanation is that “octopus” comes from Greek. The suffix “pi” to make a noun plural comes from Latin, and not Greek. So the correct plural is “octopuses” or “octopodes”. And now back to the show.

SOUNDS: [Animal Misconceptions Debunked chime]

DEVON: Alright. Now let’s start the episode now that I’ve cleared some things up. So let’s begin the description. Let me take on the challenge of describing an octopus like you don’t know what they look like. So first imagine an--

CAP: Chicka Cap!

DEVON: Seriously, Cap? Even on my birthday?

CAP: Chicka Have you Chicka even met Chicka me?

DEVON: I guess I should know better. So first imagine an egg shape. Then imagine a cylinder perpendicular to the egg and attach it to the pointy part of the egg. Then take eight long, thin things and attach them circularly around the bottom of the cylinder. Then take two spheres and put them on top of the cylinder. The spheres are their eyes; the eight long, thin things are their arms; the cylinder is their head; and the egg is their mantle. I’ll talk more about that a little later. They’re typical coloration is reddish pink with a veinlike pattern when you look up close, and it fades to a white on the underside of their arms, but they are constantly changing color, so don’t use that as a key identifying feature. Running down their arms are up to two thousand, two hundred forty suckers in females or up to two thousand, one hundred forty in males. Not only can these hold tons of weight (not literal tons), but they also give octopuses the senses of A), touch and temperature, B), taste and smell, or C), sight and sound? I’ll give you the answer… right after a quick break.

CAP: Chicka Come on!

BACKGROUND: [Theme music starts]

DEVON: Hey podcast listeners. It’s me, Devon. I’m here just to tell you that there’s something fun I’ve added to the show’s website. If you want to know how much like an octopus you are, there’s a quiz on the website just for that. It’s at kingdomanimaliapod.com/octoquiz or there’s a link in the show notes and in the transcript. There’s also an octopus camo test with photos of camouflaged octopuses that you have to spot. There’s a link in the show notes in the transcript {link} or you can take it on the page for this episode. And now back to Giant Pacific Octopuses.

BACKGROUND: [Theme music fades out and ends]

DEVON: Welcome back to Kingdom: Animalia - A Zoology Podcast for Kids. I’m your host, Devon, and these are my co-hosts…,

CAP: …Chicka Cap…,

CHET: …Chicka and Chet!

DEVON: Before the break, I left you with a dangling question: Do their suckers give octopuses the senses of A), touch and temperature, B), taste and smell, or C), sight and sound? What do you think, Chet?…

CHET: Chicka B!

DEVON: …Cap?…

CAP: Chicka D! Chicka The sense Chicka of Caps!

DEVON: That is not an option or a sense, Cap.

CAP: Chicka Fine. Chicka Then C. Chicka C for Chicka caps!

DEVON: That is not what C is, but I want to move on, so let’s just let it go. Chet, can you please give me a drumroll?

CHET: Chicka Of course Chicka b-day Chicka boy![Drumroll]

DEVON: The answer is… B! Cap, you’re wrong.

SOUNDS: [Incorrect sound]

DEVON: But Chet, you’re right!

SOUNDS: [Correct sound]

CHET: Chicka Yeah! Chicka Who’s the Chicka chickadee? Chicka Me! Chicka I am! Chicka Take that Chicka Cap! Chicka I am Chicka the multiple Chicka choice maassterr!

DEVON: I think that’s enough, Chet.So Giant Pacific Octopuses, hence their names, are the world’s largest octopuses. Their mantle is up to two feet or zero point six meters long and their legspan can get up to, get this, twenty-nine point five feet or nine meters wide — that’s the length of a car! They weigh around forty four pounds or twenty kilograms! They definitely called them Giant Pacific Octopus for a reason. So more broadly than being cephalopods, Giant Pacific Octopuses (referred to as the GPO by cephalopod enthusiasts) are mollusks. Mollusks include cephalopods, gastropods (those are snails and slugs), and bivalves (those are clams, scallops, and others). Octopuses are soft except for their hard, strong, parrot-like beaks. Though the only truly hard part of them is their beak, GPOs have retained two cartilage plates from their shell in their mantle. To make up for their lack of an external shell, octopuses use their amazing ability to camouflage, which I’ll cover a little later.

DEVON: This is probably the most complex animal we’ve covered, and I have a feeling this’ll be a long episode. Now let’s talk about their--

CAP: Chicka Caps!

DEVON: Cap, Cap, Cap. *Sigh* Now let’s talk about their--

CHET: Chicka Birdseed!

DEVON: No! Will you ever let me go without interruption on--

CHET+CAP: Chicka The Chickadee Chicka Brothers Podcast!

CHET: Chicka And no.

CAP: Chicka Not a Chicka chance.

CHET: Chicka Even on Chicka your birthday.

CAP: Chicka Even on Chicka your birthday.

DEVON: Your openness about it almost makes it worse. Do you want to get your hatchday presents next month?

CHET: Chicka Move on.

CAP: Chicka Yeah. Chicka Let’s keep Chicka going.

DEVON: That got you to stop. So now let’s talk about their mantles. The mantle is a large and highly muscular balloon shaped body part directly above their head and flopping over backwards. True or false: All of an octopus’ organs are in their mantle.

CAP: Chicka False! Chicka It houses Chicka all of Chicka their caps!

CHET: Chicka True! Chicka Octopuses don’t Chicka wear caps!

DEVON: Thank you Chet. Give a roll of the drum please.

CHET: Chicka Alright Mr. Chicka twelve![Drumroll]

DEVON: The answer is… True! An octopus’ mantle houses EVERYTHING. And when I say everything, I mean everything. It has their gills, digestive system, and their hearts. The muscularity of their mantle helps with contraction when they breathe. Octop--

CHET: Chicka Wait a Chicka second Devon. Chicka Did you Chicka say hearts?? Chicka Plural?

DEVON: Yes, Chet, I did. Guess how many hearts an octopus has: do they have A), two, B), three, C), four, or D), five? The answer, right after a quick…

CAP: Chicka Don’t say Chicka it.

DEVON: …right after a quick drumroll.

CAP: Chicka Oh.

DEVON: You know what to do, Chet.

CHET: [Drumroll]

DEVON: The answer is… B)! Octopuses have three hearts! Two hearts pump blood to their gills, while the other pumps blood to the rest of their body. There’s also something interesting about the blood itself! Unlike our red blood, cephalopod blood is--

CAP: Chicka Cap colored!

DEVON: Seriously, Cap? That’s not even a color! Unlike our red blood, cephalopod blood is blue!

BACKGROUND: [Borough music starts]

DEVON: Here’s a kind of chemistry lesson. Our blood is iron-based. Iron-based blood uses hemoglobin and when oxygen meets hemoglobin it appears red. However, cephalopod blood is copper-based and uses hemocyanin which turns blue when it meets oxygen. Copper-based blood is more efficient in the cold ocean environments that the Giant Pacific Octopus resides in. So that’s a blood chemistry lesson.

SOUNDS: [Music ends]

DEVON: If you look closely at the side of an octopus’ head you’ll see an opening between the bottom of the mantle and the head, sticking out of where you’d expect to see an ear, you’ll see a little tube. That’s called their siphon or funnel, which, as the name suggests, is a funnel. It serves kind of like a pipe and has many uses. The first is the most obvious. It sucks in oxygen rich water, runs it over the gills which extract the oxygen, and then shoots out the remaining water. Some octopuses can actually suck in a bunch of extra water, store it in their mantle, and then briefly come out of the water, slowly running the stored water over their gills like an oxygen tank. This comes in handy (or I guess it comes in suckery because they don’t have hands) if an octopus gets stranded in a tidepool and the tide won’t come in before the oxygen in the pool runs out. Another use for the siphon is to make a quick escape. When an octopus is scared they will suck up a bunch of water into their siphon and then shoot it back out propelling the octopus at up to twenty-five miles or forty kilometers per hour…

SOUNDS: [Woosh]

DEVON: …along with shooting out a cloud of black ink from an ink gland or sac in the octopus’ mantle near their digestive tract. When the ink mixes with the water it forms a black cloud, confusing the predator. Octopuses can also shoot out the ink into blobs that serve as decoys. On top of all that, the ink contains a compound called tyrosinase (tiyrowsinase) that impairs the senses of taste and smell, which also helps confuse the predator. The ink is also sticky and can clog up the predator’s gills; because of this, the octopus has to jet away from their ink quickly because it can be dangerous to them too. Along with having three hearts and eight arms, Giant Pacific Octopuses—and other octopuses—have nine--

CHET: Chicka Bags of Chicka birdseed!

DEVON: No, Chet! They have nine brains!

CHET: Chicka Ooo…

CAP: Chicka Ahh…

DEVON: They have one main brain in their mantle and then there are eight smaller brains called “satellite brains” in their arms. They’re smaller and made up of clusters of neurons called ganglia. This allows the octopus’ arms to pick up tons of information without overloading the main brain. It is thought that the satellite brains can communicate with each other and carry out tasks without communicating with the main brain. This makes octopuses very good multitaskers.

DEVON: Have you ever wondered how an octopus can camouflage…

CAP: Whispering: Chicka …capaflage…

DEVON: …so well? Well now I’m going to teach you a crash course on <Octopus Camouflage><echo>.

SOUNDS: [Underwater]

CAP: Chicka Part number Chicka one:

DEVON: Chromatophores - Absorbers of Light. Just under their skin, octopuses have cells called chromatophores that are pigment sacs filled with pigments in the thousands. The pigments come in five types: red, orange, yellow, brown, and black. If the sac contracts, it makes the color of the pigment darker and less visible and when they expand it makes the color more visible. These are the base colors. For colors that they can’t make with their chromatophores they use…

CAP: Chicka Part number Chicka two:

DEVON: Iridophores - Benders of Light. Below the chromatophores is a special layer of cells called iridophores that can reflect light helping octopuses change more exactly to the colors around the octopus and add shades of blue and green to their color since the chromatophores can’t. The iridophores are full of hundreds of reflectosomes which are tiny mirror-like structures that reflect the light up to the octopus’ skin where the octopus can choose whether or not they want to brighten it, controlling the intensity with the chromatophores. When above water, this reflected light appears white, but underwater the octopus can change the light into any wavelength they choose from their environment, allowing the octopus to camouflage semi-consciously when startled. 

CAP: Chicka Part number Chicka three:

DEVON: Papillae - Changers of Texture. Octopus camouflage isn’t just about color. This is part of why calling octopuses the “ocean equivalents of chameleons” is insulting. The papillae are tiny bundles of muscles that can rapidly change the texture of their skin. These papillae form networks that can be aligned in a straight line or in circles. Adjusting the muscles can quickly smooth the skin or create a variety of different patterns—some octopuses will actually use them to grow horns.

CAP: Chicka Part number Chicka four:

DEVON: The Brain - Perceiver of Light. So octopuses are amazing at color changing. Would you believe that--

CHET: Chicka Nope. Chicka I won’t Chicka believe it.

DEVON: What? I didn’t even tell you what it was, Chet. Alright. So octopuses are amazing at color changing. Would you believe they are truly colorblind?

CHET: Chicka Nope. Chicka I won’t Chicka believe it.

DEVON: But it’s true! In the eye we perceive color with cells called cones. We have three: red, green, and yellow. Animals that have three cone cells are called trichromats. We often refer to dichromats—or two coned animals—as colorblind. But octopuses are truly colorblind—they’re monochromats—they have only one cone and see only black, white, and shades of gray. Fortunately for the octopus’s camo, they have two tricks to get around this up their eight sleeves. The first is—I had to read it like three times to believe it—they can FEEL color with their suckers! That’s right, they can FEEL color!

CAP: Chicka Say what?

CHET: Chicka Really?

DEVON: It’s true! On their arms they have tiny fibers with chemicals called opsins. Octopuses can sense color by the way the different wavelengths activate the receptors. The second trick up their eight sleeves is the shape of their pupils. The shape of their pupils, depending on the light, can be horizontal slits, horizontal ovals, or double-us. Octopuses, cuttlefish, and squids take advantage of something called chromatic aberration. This is the distortion of colors in photos when the lens fails to focus all of the colors in images correctly at the same time. If you don’t fully understand that, that makes four of us (including Chet and Cap). Octopuses, cuttlefish, and squids take advantage of this. They break up the parts of the light and take them in separately. Though they perceive all of these colors as shades of gray, because of the way their oddly shaped eyes make the light bend, they “know” what colors they’re picking up. This technique is completely unique to octopuses, cuttlefish, and squids.

CHET: Chicka Octopuses should Chicka be superheros!

SOUNDS: [Take a Chance music starts]

CHET: Chicka Faster than Chicka Michael Phelps… Chicka Can swim Chicka tall corals Chicka in a Chicka single jet… Chicka It’s a Chicka fish! Chicka It’s a Chicka squid! Chicka No it’s… Chicka Super-Octopus!

SOUNDS: [Take a Chance music ends]

CAP: Chicka Part number Chicka five:

DEVON: Review. First the octopus will use their eyes to discern the darkness, texture, and general layout of the scene. Then they’ll use their pupils and suckers for the color. Then tiny fibers (Iridophores) and cells (chromatophores) under the skin will change to their color of  the environment. Then tiny bundles of muscles (papillae) will change the texture of their skin to match; all of this supervised by the main boss brain. The octopus then adjusts their position to better match. All of this happens in a tenth of a second. Now that is a superpower if I ever saw one. Well actually if I ever didn’t see one since that’s the superpower.

SOUNDS: [Clip from Take a Chance music plays]

DEVON: This concludes our crash course on <Octopus Camouflage><echo>.

SOUNDS: [Underwater]

DEVON: Now onto how and what they eat. They have a wide variety of things they eat and ways they do it. I’m going to cover each food item or category of food items and then one or two scenarios of them hunting them. Let’s get started.

SOUNDS: [Diving deep underwater mix (audio) plays][Underwater sounds continue]

DEVON: Let’s begin. Our Giant Pacific Octopus is stalking (or more crawling) across the ocean floor. It’s nighttime. Then she spots something. A clam. She flattens herself on the floor and slowly approaches. In a flash, she lashes out with two of her arms and pulls the clam under her body. She then lifts her body, scans her surroundings, and jets, full speed, towards her rocky underwater den nestled in the coral. She slithers in. She lifts herself off of the clam. She then suctions her suckers onto both shell pieces and pulls apart breaking apart the shell. We see a smaller GPO jetting through the water. He lands under a den made of piled up dead corals. He examines the scallop he has collected. He tries to pull it apart. It doesn’t work. He then crams it into a crack. He pins it down with his arms. He shoves the hook of the top of his beak between the two parts of the shell and pulls. Finally, he prys the top shell off of his prey. Let’s move on. It’s still nighttime. We see an octopus slowly crawling across the rocks on the seafloor. Then she sees movement. A crab scuttling through the rocks. She sinks lower. She immediately transforms. Her skin matches with the gray and black rocks and her body contorts to match. She oh so slowly advances. The crab doesn’t notice and gets closer. Wait for it… Wait for it…

SOUNDS: [Orch hit]

DEVON: She strikes out! She leaps up, spreads her arms, webbing spreading between each of them, and lands on the crab. Quickly, she suctions on and takes them to her den. Once in, she… spits on them? Yes. She spits on the shell, using secretions in her saliva to soften the shell. She then uses her rough tongue (called a radula)—scraping away the softened shell material. She quickly injects paralyzing venom. The crab goes still. The venom also dissolves the connective tissue that keeps the crab together. She then easily pulls apart the shell, and devours the squishy and delicious bits within. She then discards the inedible shell onto a pile of shells from her other “victims”, called the midden, just outside her den. Scientists use these to study octopus diets. When it comes to shelled creatures on the Giant Pacific Octopus’s diet; on top of clams, scallops, and crabs; they also eat other crustaceans such as shrimp and lobsters, and other gastropods such as mussels. We see another GPO. He is fishing. He is sitting, frozen and camouflaged, on the seafloor, watching a school of small fish. When their backs are turned, he jets up into the water above the fish. He then, utilizing the same trick as the crab hunter, spreads his webbing, and falls, catching a handful of fish in his wake like a living fishing net. He eats his catch.Alright. You two aren’t going to like this, Chet and Cap.

CHET: Chicka Oh no.

CAP: Chicka Not this. Chicka Is this Chicka what you Chicka warned us Chicka about?

DEVON: Yes. Before I start, here’s a quick word of warning: If you’re sensitive to animal violence (specifically by drowning), skip ahead like thirty-one seconds

SOUNDS: [Dramatic music full starts]

DEVON: Alright. There’s a large octopus sitting on the seafloor. Gulls call above.

SOUNDS: [Orchestral tension starts]

DEVON: One lands above on the surface. The octopus notices. Slowly, she jets up, getting ever closer, and… she strikes!

SOUNDS: [Orchestral tension ends]

DEVON: She grabs the gull by the legs and pulls them under. She pulls them down, holding on more tightly. The gull dies of lack of oxygen. The octopus chows down on her avian appetizer. You can stop jumping ahead now. For those who jumped ahead: Giant Pacific Octopuses can eat gulls and other birds.

SOUNDS: [All sounds end]

DEVON: Okay. Just so you know: some prey animals we didn’t cover were echinoderms (those are sea stars, sea cucumbers, and sea urchins) and… sharks!

CHET:  Chicka Der-d--

DEVON: Bip-bip-bip! I think that might be copyrighted. So yes. The largest octopus… can eat small sharks. I bet while humans watch “Jaws” sharks watch “Beaks” (as in octopus beaks).

DEVON: Since I had to divide the info between behavior and intelligence, there isn’t much for today’s “Behavior” segment, and it’s more just a segue to the “Intelligence” one. GPOs, like most octopuses, spend most of their lives alone. Because of that, there isn’t actually any name for a group of octopuses (like a flock of sheep or a crash of rhinos)! They are very clever and will interact their c--

CAP: Chicka Caps!

DEVON: No. …And will interact with their caretakers when they live in aquariums.

DEVON: As I said, there wasn’t much to the behavior segment because I had to split the info between it and “Intelligence”. Let’s start. As I’ve hinted at, octopuses are SMART. They are possibly the smartest invertebrates in the world!

CAP: Chicka Wow.

DEVON: “Wow” is right. They are thought to be roughly as smart as fifth graders! That’s similar to the American Crows we talked about in October. In lab tests, they’ve been shown to complete complicated tasks such as solving mazes, opening jars, opening child-proof containers, and even using tools! One octopus—a GPO named Bev—could not only solve a Rubik’s Cube, but do it in five point two four seconds as filmed on Youtube! (Though the credibility of that video is debatable.) Octopuses have even been put in escape rooms! It has also been shown that GPOs can not only recognize faces, but associate them with being good or bad, again like the American Crows we talked about in October. In a study at the Seattle Aquarium this recognition and association was shown by their color changing, breathing, and general behavior when they see these faces. Eight GPO test subjects (I’m not sure whether or not that was on purpose) took part; they were treated by either a “nice” keeper who gave them food…,

SOUNDS: [Bling]

DEVON: …or by a “mean” keeper who would rudely poke them with a bristly stick.

SOUNDS: [Wrong Buzzer]

DEVON: After two weeks of this, the GPOs would come up to the nice food giving keeper and hide from the mean poking with a bristly stick keeper. So Giant Pacific Octopuses are very intelligent and in captivity they need to be mentally stimulated. This can be doing things like making them solve puzzles to get their food. They really need to be entertained and you have to keep an eye on them. Because ocean forbid an aquarium octopus gets bored… that’s when the chaos starts.

SOUNDS: [Mystery Detective sting]

DEVON: Dramatic voice: Some animals can get into trouble. Big trouble.

SOUNDS: A=Animal Crime Files music [A: Starts]

DEVON: Sometimes they’re so criminal they end up on Kingdom: Animalia’s ANIMAL CRIME FILES.

SOUNDS: [A: Picks up]

DEVON: Here, on KA’s Animal Crime Files, we talk about those animals. Today: Octopus Outlaws. Mollusk Marauders. Eight-armed…

SOUNDS: [A: Gets low pitched and stops]

CAP: Chicka Devon.

DEVON: Not dramatic voice: Oh, sorry. Got a little carried away. Alright.

SOUNDS: [A: Raises until at its regular pitch and continues]

DEVON: Dramatic voice: Octopuses in aquariums are just disasters waiting to happen. Some of them are just born criminals. Here I’ll talk about a few.
     Case 01: Valve Villains. Valves in octopus tanks are just asking the sneaky cephalopods to come out and play. Octopuses are perfectly capable of opening and closing them. As easy as crab cake. Another case opened… and closed.
     Case 02: A Boneless Breakout. Some octopuses just want OUT. Out of the aquarium. At nighttime—when the aquarist “guards” are away—they make their move. Using their powerful suckers, they will climb up the inside of their tank, climb down the outside, crawl across the floor, and implementing their squishy boneless bodies will slip down the drainage pipes. Another case opened… and closed.
     Case 03: A Shocking Crime. Some Octopuses aren’t patient enough to wait until night to take their leave. They just can’t wait. Then the light bulb literally goes off over their head. First they release their arms and suckers. They will disassemble the tank’s equipment (no joke). They will then rig them to blast streams of water at the light bulbs above, short circuiting the power, making everything go dark. By the time the lights have come back on, the octopus has already slipped down the drain en route to the ocean. What a shocking escape. Another case opened… and closed.
     Case 04: Fishing Felons. Say at night, when the aquarists aren’t there to feed them, an octopus gets hungry. Or maybe they just want to hunt instead of getting it delivered to their denstep. This is what all of the accused have stated as their reasoning for committing Fishing Felons. It’s nighttime and the aquarium octo is getting hungry. What do they do? I’ll tell you what. The octopus outlaw will sneak out of their tank like many octopuses before them. They will then crawl across the floor and into their neighboring tanks. When finished, they will return to their den. Then, in the morning, when the keepers return, they see the octopus sitting innocently in their den looking a little wider around the mantle… and the neighboring shark or other fish tank empty. To make the crime worse, the octopus may even continue this. Another case opened… and closed.
     If you’re an aquarist listening: keep your octopuses stimulated… or they just might end up on KA’s Animal Crime Files: Octopus Edition. Thank you for listening.

CHET: Singing along: Chicka Tee-tuh-tee-tee, tee-tuh-tee-tee, Chicka buh!

SOUNDS: [A: Ends]

DEVON: Alright. It’s time for range and habitat. Chet did it last time, Cap did it before him, so I guess it’s my turn. The Giant Pacific Octopus is found on the northern part of the <Pacific Ring of Fire><reverb>—living from northern Canada all the way down to Mexico, and across Japan, Russia, and Korea, always near the coast. The waters they live in are normally sixty degrees fahrenheit or fifteen and a half degrees celsius or under. They live in shallow water and in deep water of sixteen hundred thirty-three point three yards or fourteen hundred ninety-three point five meters or more. If you’re at the beach within the range of GPOs and have a sharp eye you might even find one trapped in a tidepool.Now, for the first time, I present you with the Conservation Corner.

SOUNDS: [Conservation Corner sting]

DEVON: The Giant Pacific Octopus population is currently stable, even while they are fished (or I guess octopused) in North America and Japan for people to eat and to use as bait. But time will tell how they will go with mounting threats such as pollution and climate change. This was Conservation Corner

SOUNDS: [Conservation Corner sting]

SOUNDS: [Predators Alarm goes off]

DEVON: Uh oh.

CHET: Chicka It’s that Chicka time!

CAP: Chicka No!

SOUNDS: [Alarm ends]

BACKGROUND: [Tense Detective Looped Drone music start]

DEVON: It is. It’s time for predators. GPOs are preyed upon by seals, sea otters, large sharks, and other large fish such as tuna. But they are very good at evading the predators with ink, jetting, and squeezing into small spaces, along with their camouflaging and shape shifting to evade detection in the first place.

BACKGROUND: [Music ends]

DEVON: Now moving on from how the number of GPOs is reduced, let’s talk about how it’s increased, along with their general life history. You know how to tell apart male and female octopuses? You look at their third arm on the right. If it has suckers going down all of its length, the octo is a female and if the arm doesn’t have any suckers at the tip the octopus is male. GPOs, not surprisingly, are—along with being the largest—the longest living octopuses, living an average of four to five years. Like most octopuses, they mate near the end of their lives, the males dying shortly after mating and the females after their eggs hatch. This is because the females make the ultimate sacrifice. They sacrifice their lives for their babies—the next generation of octopuses. Here’s how it goes down. First, after mating, she will go to her den or find a new one. Then she will lay—on a scale of one hundred to one million, how many eggs do you think they lay?

CHET: Chicka Two hundred Chicka thousand!

CAP: Chicka Twenty thousand!

DEVON: Drumroll please, Chet…

CHET: [Drumroll]

DEVON: The answer is… eighteen to seventy-four thousand eggs!

SOUNDS: [Ta-dah!]

DEVON: That means you’re right, Cap…

SOUNDS: [Correct sound]

CAP: Chicka Woohoo!

DEVON: …and you’re wrong, Chet.

SOUNDS: [Incorrect sound]

CHET: Fades out with reverb: Chicka Nooooooo…

DEVON: So dramatic, Chet. But they may even lay more sometimes.

CHET: Chicka--

DEVON: …but not as high as two hundred thousand.

CHET: Chicka Darn.

SOUNDS: [Trumpet Whomp]

CHET: Chicka Devon!

DEVON: Not me.

CAP: Chicka Heehee.

DEVON+CHET: {Chicka } Caaap.

DEVON: Let’s move on. The female octopus, after laying all of these eggs out of, you guessed it, her mantle, will string them together and fix the strands to the ceiling of her den. You know how those stems of kelp have bulbs on them? The strands of octopus eggs look very similar, just with much more ‘bulbs’ and no leaves. These eggs are roughly the size of grains of white rice. It takes roughly six months for the eggs to hatch, and over that period the momma octopus will stay guard, foretaking food for running oxygen rich water over her eggs and guarding them from hungry predators such as crabs. She will never leave during this period and she passes away shortly after the baby octopuses hatch. Though it is sad that she dies, this is also the birth of thousands of new octopuses. After they leave, they will float to the surface of the water and join other zooplankton (those are animal plankton) in their planktonic state for thirty to ninety days. During this state—floating at the surface—they are especially vulnerable to predation—many don’t make it through. But the ones that do will settle down to the ocean floor and that’s when the growing really starts. Every day they will grow by one percent—immensely helping their survival rates. Once fully grown, the GPOs will only have to worry about the scarier of ocean predators.

DEVON: Now who’s ready for some fun facts?

CHET+CAP: Chicka Us!

CHET: Chicka Fact number Chicka one:

DEVON: The heaviest Giant Pacific Octopus on record was a true kraken, weighing in at a whopping two hundred pounds or ninety point seven kilograms!

CHET: Chicka Fact number Chicka two:

DEVON: The name “octopus” comes from Greek, októpus, meaning “eight foot”, referring to their eight arms.

CHET: Chicka Fact number Chicka three:

DEVON: The name “cephalopod” also comes from Greek. It comes from kefálipódi meaning “head foot”, referring to the fact that their limbs connect directly to their head.

CHET: Chicka Fact number Chicka four:

DEVON: The largest suckers of a GPO—which are the nearest to the beak—can hold up thirty-five pounds or sixteen kilograms! In theory, the Giant Pacific Octopus could hold seven computer monitors, a cinder block, or a four-year-old with a single sucker! But they don’t use their suckers to carry off little kids, they use them to pry open shelled creatures.

CHET: Chicka Fact number Chicka five:

DEVON: Octopus’s special pupils don’t just allow them to ”know” color, but also give them panoramic vision! That means they can see in all directions! This is very helpful for hunting and keeping an eye out for predators at the same time.

DEVON: Now let’s do the glossary where I’ll explain some words you, and especially younger listeners, may not know.
      Word number one: Perpendicular. An object being perpendicular to another object is where one object is vertically placed and one is placed horizontally, at least relative to each other.
     Word number two: To impair or impaired. To be impaired is to be limited in a field. For instance when octopus ink impares a predator’s sense of smell it makes the predator’s sense of smell worse.
     Word number three: Wavelengths. So simply, wavelengths are different lengths of light waves. The different wavelengths are different colors. So red is a certain wavelength and yellow is another, red being the longest wavelength that we can see and violet being the shortest. White is all the wavelengths put together and black is no light at all.
     Word number four: Segue. In conversation, a segue is a smooth transition into something different—a different topic.

DEVON: For the sixth time, we’ve reached the end!

CHET: Chicka Woohoo!

CAP: Chicka Yeah!

DEVON: In case you didn’t hear the bonus episode… I have a webcomic! It’s called The Bird Birds - Comic About Birds. You can read it at thebirdbirds.com. Listen to the bonus episode “KA Presents: The Bird Birds - Comic About Birds” which is just below this episode in the feed. Now let’s finish this episode. If you want to check my facts or dive into more GPO facts…

CHET: [Rimshot]

DEVON: …you can look at my works cited page which has a link to download in the show notes or you can view on the page for this episode which is at kingdomanimaliapod.com/episodes/pacificoctopus. Same goes for the episode transcript. There’s a link for the episode comic there, in the show notes, and the url is kingdomanimaliapod.com/comics/pacificoctopus. You can contact us with our email, which is contact@kingdomanimaliapod.com, or you can use the contact form on our website which is at kingdomanimaliapod.com/contact. You can use those to send me questions and episode suggestions.

CHET: Chicka Devon?

DEVON: Yeah?

CHET: Chicka You forgot Chicka about using Chicka it for Chicka the riddle.

DEVON: Oh, but there is no riddle for next episode.

CHET: Chicka Oh?

DEVON: Yeah. Next episode is an April Fools special! There will be five animals, one’s a fake, and you’ll have to guess! See you (or I guess hear you) then!

BACKGROUND: [Cricket song starts]

DEVON: So until next time, never play hide-and-seek with an octopus—no matter what role they play—, and keep exploring this amazing Kingdom:, Animalia. Bye!

CHET: Chicka Bye!

CAP: Chicka See ya!

SOUNDS: [[Water Sounds]]


CAP: Chicka Blub blub.

BACKGROUND: [Music ends]

- Ends -


Check the Works Cited for this Episode


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Hey listeners, just wondering, what do you think of this episode length? Do you prefer it or the usual length? Your responses will be helpful for making episodes just the right length for you. You can tell me your opinions using the form below. Thank you for your opinions.





Comments

Chet and Cap (Co-hosts)
a year ago

Chicka Happy birthday Chicka Devon!
P.S: Chicka We’ll still Chicka try to Chicka take over Chicka the show.

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