If you have visited the Ocean Explorium in the past year or so, you have likely seen our dynamic common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) in an exhibit next to the scallop touch tank, just inside the front door. Our octopus loves to play with Lego® blocks, and visitors now have the opportunity to build toys for our octopus to play with! Octopus demonstrations take place at 10:15 and 2:45 every day that we are open to the public. Click HERE to read a previous blog post about our octopus.
We are exciting that the Ocean Explorium can provide a chance to observe and learn about this remarkable animal and, while we hope she will be with us for a few more months, we know that she is nearing the end of her life expectancy.
In the wild as well as in captivity, octopi rarely live more than a few years. Even the largest octopus, the Giant Pacific Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) does not often live past three or four years. The common octopus we have at the Ocean Explorium typically lives for about a year, dying after reproduction. Our female octopus has never reproduced, which has contributed to her longevity. She is currently about two years old, which is considered old age for this species. After an extensive search, we can find no records of this species living past two years of age.
While we prepare for the inevitable, we are thankful that our octopus has intrigued and inspired so many visitors and staff members; we invite you come and wonder at her natural curiosity and intelligence, and to gaze into her sparkling eyes.