The “Dumbo Octopus”

Strangest thing I’ve seen all weekend:

The octopuses of the genus Grimpoteuthis are also known as “Dumbo octopuses” from the ear-like fins protruding from the top of their head-like bodies, resembling the ears of Walt Disney’s flying elephant. They are benthic creatures, living at extreme depths: 300-400 meters, and are some of the rarest of the Octopoda species. They can flush the transparent layer of their skin at will, and are pelagic animals, as with all other cirrate octopuses, and unlike many other incirrate octopuses. source


  1. #1 afarensis
    July 27, 2008

    Now, see, if you read my blog on a regular basis you would have heard about them a long time ago 🙂

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    July 27, 2008

    I do read your blog on a regular basis, but I forgot. Sorry.

  3. #3 dorid
    July 28, 2008

    now see, if you had shopped at my shop you would have heard about them long ago.

  4. #4 Philip H.
    July 28, 2008

    That is a cool deep sea creature. Perhaps you, The Intersection, and Deep Sea News should start some kind of three way minicontest to see who can come up with the coolest deep sea creatures each week. I’m still all bout nudibranches, however.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    July 28, 2008

    I would win because I have a copy of a film by David Attenborough, which I was watching last night …. (I wonder if anyone else has that film)

    I’m actually seriously thinking about the regular weekly blogging of a different unbelievable undersea creature.

  6. #6 kevin z
    July 28, 2008

    Thank you afarensis.

    And Greg, if you read my blog once in a while you could see even stranger things! (or my ‘other’ blog)

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    July 28, 2008

    Kevin, I read your blog all the time!

  8. #8 Christopher Waldrop
    July 28, 2008

    And if you read *my* blog you wouldn’t find anything about octopuses at all even though I find the darn things incredibly fascinating. Besides I don’t know you well enough. In fact I’d feel uncomfortable calling you anything but “Dr. Laden”.
    Anyway thanks for the information about the “dumbo octopus”. What I find fascinating about this and other benthic cephalopod species (for instance vampyroteuthis infernalis) is that they were assumed for a long time to be slow-moving creatures due to the low oxygen content in the benthic regions. And yet I’ve read that they’ve shown surprising bursts of activity.

  9. #9 kevin z
    July 29, 2008

    Just messing with ya Greg, but we could do an SB-wide coolest underwater animal contest hosted at DSN! Like a one time-carnival thingy to generate interest in the ocean and its inhabitants.