The North Pacific giant octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) is the largest and longest-lived octopus species. Although their average length and mass are 5 meters and 20 to 50 kilograms, respectively, the largest individual recorded was 9.1 meter long and weighed 272 kilograms. They usually live for three to five years. The giant Pacific octopus grows larger and lives longer than any other octopus species.
The size record is held by a sample that measured 30 feet wide and weighed more than 600 pounds. The averages are more than 16 feet and 110 pounds. The time between hatching, reproduction and death varies between octopus species. Common octopus, for example, can live only two years, while giant octopus can live up to three years but up to five years as long as they don't mate.
The giant Pacific octopus can be between three and five years old in the wild. The prize for the longest-lived octopus species goes to the giant Pacific octopus. They have an average wingspan of 16 feet wide and weigh approximately 110 pounds. The largest recorded was 30 feet wide and weighed a whopping 600 pounds.
The fins look like the ears of an elephant, earning one of these species the name “the Dumbo octopus” in honor of the Disney character Dumbo. Neurobiologists at the University of Chicago discovered that female octopus has four distinct phases of maternal behavior linked to molecular signals produced by the optic gland. It depends on the species, but if octopus live in the wild or in captivity, they still have a relatively short lifespan that ranges from about one to five years. Researchers believe that the octopus was able to survive lack of food due to its inactivity, which kept its metabolic demands low.
There are larger species, which live 3 to 4 years in nature, but if you are looking for the average life expectancy, it will reach around 3 years. After leaving their egg boxes, certain species of baby octopus swim to the surface, where they spend their first few days floating among plankton. Females live long enough to meticulously care for their eggs, but they don't eat during this months-long incubation period and usually die soon after. By the time baby octopuses begin to hatch their eggs, they are already orphans and must survive on their own.
Octopuses that live in colder waters also have a longer lifespan compared to those that inhabit the warm waters of the world. On average, the life expectancy of an octopus can range from 6 months to 5 years, depending on the species considered. Giant, chameleon-shaped Pacific octopus can change their appearance to imitate highly patterned rocks and corals. This is still being studied, but one theory is that the main evolutionary task of the octopus is to reproduce and, once this is done, its “work is complete”.
Of the approximately 300 species of octopus, they live on average between six months and five years, depending on the species. Giant Pacific octopus have one of the longest lives of any octopus species and live for 3 to 5 years. Research has eliminated the optic gland of the female octopus and found that they live significantly longer. While most other intelligent animals have a relatively long life expectancy, the life expectancy of octopus is short.
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