Meet the Dumbo octopus, member of the genus Grimpoteuthis.
These strange creatures live deep in the ocean. Most are found 3,000 to 4,000 meters below, often hovering just above the sea floor. And their fins – well, they look like the ears of Walt Disney’s Dumbo the Flying Elephant, hence their name.
Dumbos swim around by flapping those “ears,” and they can also travel along the sea floor with their tentacles, which they use to capture prey.
Other curious facts about the Dumbo octopus (courtesy Wikipedia)
- they hover along the sea floor and eat worms, crustaceans, and bivalve mollusks
- they swallow their food whole
- they have an average length of 20-30 cm (7.9-12 in)
- but the largest Dumbo octopus ever found measured in at 1.8 meters (~6 ft) long
- some have been found up to 7,000 meters below sea level, deeper than any other known octopus
- Because they’re found so deep in the ocean, we don’t really know a whole lot about them
- they belong to a group called the “umbrella octopuses,” because their mantles also look like umbrellas
- and they like to dance: