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Giant Octopus Joins the Children’s Aquarium Family

Lifestyle

Close frame of an amazing Giant Pacific Octopus in an aquarium, facing forward with several tentacle arms showing the suckers with the head and eyes visible behind. | Image by KDAF

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The Children’s Aquarium Dallas has a new resident: a Giant Pacific Octopus. The young 15-pound female made her debut recently and is currently awaiting a name. 

Dallas Children’s Aquarium welcomed its newest member on Facebook and Instagram, where it asked the public for name suggestions. Some names suggested so far include Octavia, Violet, and Pearl.

Octopuses are solitary organisms and can change color to blend in with their habitat. Interestingly, these creatures have three hearts and blue blood. 

Giant Pacific Octopuses (GPOs) are the largest species of octopus, known for being highly intelligent and active.

Due to their high level of intelligence, GPOs in captivity are usually given a wide range of enrichment opportunities, including games and puzzles.  

The species is usually found off the coasts of California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Alaska, Russia, Eastern China, Japan, and the Korean Peninsula.

A GPO’s diet consists of shrimp, crabs, scallops, abalone, cockles, snails, clams, lobsters, fish, squid, and other octopuses. The Giant Pacific Octopus has a lifespan of 3–5 years in the wild, making it one of the longest-living species in the ocean. From egg to death, many other octopuses complete their entire life cycle in a year.

The Children’s Aquarium Dallas has been a part of the Fair Park community since 1936 when it debuted for the Texas Centennial. There are several high-tech, high-touch, and hands-wet exhibits throughout the aquarium for big and little kids to enjoy. 

Admission to the Children’s Aquarium Dallas costs $9.95 for children ages 3 to 12 and $13.95 for ages 13 and up. Children age 2 and younger are free.  

The aquarium is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., with free parking in front of the aquarium.     

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