Highly intelligent; has learned to open jars, mimic other octopuses, and solve mazes in lab tests 
- Largest species of octopus in the world; average weight is 50 Kg (110 lbs) and length of 5 meters (15 ft) 
- Has a huge, bulbous head and is generally reddish-brown in color 
- Uses special pigment cells, called chromatophores  in its skin to change colors and textures to camouflage very well 
- Secretes ink when it feels threatened 
- Can squeeze through small spaces and only limited by the size of its beak since that is the hardest part of its body 
- Found throughout the temperate waters of the Pacific, from Southern California to Alaska, west to the Aleutian Islands and Japan 
- Life span is 3-5 years 
- It hatches from an egg, floats to the ocean’s surface, and experiences planktonic stage for 30-90 days 
- About one percent of the planktonic larvae survive  because many are lost to predators , but once settled to the sea floor, juvenile octopuses grow rapidly and have a significantly higher survival rate 
- Ready to mate at 1-2 years of age; mates in the spring ; males and females find each other, then use their sense of sight to determine attraction during courtship 
- A male uses its ligula to place spermatophore into the female’s oviduct; entire mating process takes 3-4 hours 
- Females lay 20,000 to 100,000 eggs in a den and tend to them throughout incubation (5-7 months) 
- After mating, males and females experience senescence (the final stage of the mating process and life cycle) during which they refuse to eat; males die within a few months after mating and females die shortly after the eggs hatch 
- Predation or starvation is the usual cause of death 
- Lives in dens and caves  in intertidal zones to depths of 750 meters (2,500 ft) 
- Only the largest fish (such as halibut and ling cod) and marine mammals are any threat to adults 
- Hunts at same depths in which it lives; newly hatched octopuses eat small organisms (copepods, larval crabs, and seastars); Adults feed on crabs, clams, snails, small fishes and other octopuses 
- Generally nocturnal, hunts at night 
- Uses eight strong arms, combined with suckers , to find and hold prey; it may paralyze prey such as fish with a toxic saliva, then tear into it with its parrot-like beak or simply pull the prey’s defenses apart (as with crab shells) to get at the meal within 
- Humans use it for food, aquarium pets, and bait 
- Potentially available year-round because there is no defined fishing season, and rock crab traps are set year round 
- There is little to no information on the commercial fishery in California
- California Department of Fish & Wildlife: No regulations specific for this species, all octopus species are regulated together and managed under rock crab and spiny lobster fisheries in which it is incidentally caught [8,17]
- Caught in baited rectangular crab traps made of welded mesh or collapsible plastic attached to a buoy; Most commercial trapping occurs 27-73 m (90-240 ft) deep on open sandy bottoms or nearby rocky reefs; commercial crab boats are typically small & may set 200+ traps, which must each be raised & emptied every 96 hrs, weather permitting 
- Caught in rectangular wire lobster traps baited with fish and weighted down on the seafloor and around rocky underwater outcrops in water less than 40 m (100 ft) deep; each boat uses 300-400 traps on average 
Status of the fishery
- Appears to be a lack of concern for stocks at current level of commercial exploitation 
- Stock numbers appear healthy despite the lack of regulation 
Potential ecosystem impacts
- Use of traps on the seafloor presents a risk of damage if traps are dragged or scraped on bottom, and potential entanglement of marine mammals in buoy lines [9, 10]
- The arms are usually eaten, however the entire octopus is used in some recipes
Description of meat
- Has a slightly sweet flavor when eaten raw 
- Flavor is heavily influenced by cooking flavors and methods used
- Sold in a variety of forms, including fresh, frozen, dried, salted, and brined. When prepared fresh, it is often served alongside other seafood in stews, paella, and pasta dishes, but can also be prepared on its own (usually roasted or grilled) 
- Must be properly cleaned and sliced before it can be prepared; if the beak and head are still attached, then those parts should be removed 
- If bought live, gloves are recommended since it can bite 
- Long, slow cooking should always deliver tender results. The average simmering time should be about an hour for a 1 lb (450g) Octopus, two hours for a 4 lb (1.8kg) octopus, but that will vary. The best way to tell is to treat it like a potato: poke it with a knife and when it's ready it should feel as soft to the knife as a potato would 
- Lean and low in calories 
- Naturally low in fat but high in cholesterol 
- Naturally high in iron, selenium, and vitamin B-12 
- Nutrition values listed in table 
- None known
- Available year round 
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