Dumbo Octopus Facts | Anatomy, Diet, Habitat, Behavior

The dumbo octopus is an umbrella octopus that is typically found in the deep waters. It is the world’s deepest living octopus. Prominent among its features is its fins that remind us of human ears. Dumbo octopus is likely to consume copepods and crustaceans. They mainly occur in Philippine, California, to as far as New Zealand. Let’s see how less we know about one of the most bizarre animals on earth.

Dumbo Octopus Facts


  • The adult dumbo octopus averages 20–30 centimeters (7.9–12 in) in body length. They weigh up to 5.9 kilograms (13 lb).
  • The octopus earns its name from the character of Walt Disney’s flying elephant named ‘Dumbo’. The Disney’s flying elephant had the same ears.
  • It has large eyes which measures around 20 cm (8 inches) in width.
  • Dumbo octopus is the rarest of the octopus species.
  • Like octopuses, dumbo octopus can also change its transparent layer of the skin at will.

Distribution & Habitat

  • The dumbo octopus is thought to have a worldwide distribution that extends from California, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Monterey Bay, Azores, to New Zealand. Some of the isolated population is also spotted off the coast of Oregon.
  • They will move in deep waters averaging 3,000 to 4,000 meters (9,800 to 13,100 ft) with some species may even go further down up to 7,000 meters (23,000 ft) below sea level.
  • Dumbo octopus is adapted to living in colder temperatures which is quite clear by its habitat depths.

See also: Octopus Facts For Kids

dumbo octopus facts
Dumbo Octopus ©www.interactiveoceans.washington.edu

Feeding Ecology & Diet

Dumbo octopus typically eats bottom-dwelling species and as such it may not find large amount of food supply. The octopus diet consists of crustaceans, pelagic copepods, worms, isopods, amphipods, and bivalves.

Read More: Giant Pacific Octopus Facts for Kids


  • Dumbo octopuses are remarkable swimmers for their fin-like ears are not exactly ears instead they serve as propellers to push the fish upwards.
  • They change direction under water by using long arms.
  • Octopus’ arms are highly effective since they help the animal not only to navigate but also encourages octopus to crawl on the seafloor. Other uses may include laying eggs, and capturing prey.

Reproductive Biology

  • A female doesn’t seem to have any fixed period of breeding. It may lay eggs under small rocks in one of the deepest parts of the ocean. Surprising it is, female octopus can also carry eggs on her arms to search a safe place.
  • The young are born big and thus mother might overlook it because these young can defend themselves.

Natural Predators

  • Killer whales
  • Cephalopods
  • Sharks
  • Tunas

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