Giant Octopus joins Dubai Mall aquarium
Dubai, November 17, 2009
One of the marine world’s most intelligent animals, the Giant Pacific Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini), is the latest addition to the diversity of aquatic animals at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo in The Dubai Mall.
With highly evolved intellectual faculties, including the ability to overcome complex mazes, the Giant Pacific Octopus adds to the 135 species already exhibited at Underwater Zoo, one of the most vivid displays of aquatic animals in Dubai, said a senior zoo official.
Damian Prendergast, general manager, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, said: “We are routinely adding new and interesting species to further strengthen the educational quotient of Underwater Zoo. These new species add to the wealth of knowledge visitors can gain, especially for students.”
“The Giant Pacific Octopus is indeed a very unique species with several interesting features that will amaze visitors. They have three hearts and can taste food with their tentacles, meaning they don’t have to bring food to their mouth to know if it is a good meal.”
The Giant Pacific Octopus is the largest octopus species in the world, found in the northern latitudes of the Pacific Ocean.
It has long arms covered in suckers to catch prey and a sharp chitinous beak to break through even the toughest of crab shells. Their boneless body enables them to hide in very tight crevices and sneak up on their prey.
A master of disguise, they change the texture of their skin from smooth to very rough and can change colour using specialized skin cells. They can also eject a plume of ink to confuse predators. The Giant Pacific Octopus can reach as much as 16 feet across from tentacle tip to tip and can weigh as much as 45 kg.
Located on Level 2, Underwater Zoo takes visitors through various aquatic environments.
The journey consists of three ecological zones: Rainforest, Rocky Shore, and Living Ocean, where a variety of aquatic animals are featured including Humbolt Penguins, Harbour Seals, Crocodiles, Piranhas, Spider Crabs, Water Rats, Giant Catfish, Lizards, Tiger Fish and Dart Frogs, Prendergast said.
It is a perfect complement to Dubai Aquarium featuring over 33,000 aquatic animals including Sand Tiger sharks, Rays and Eels. The aquarium features the world’s largest acrylic viewing panel and also offers visitors the opportunity for Shark Dives and Glass Bottom Rides, he added.-TradeArabia News Service