The 27 Best Deep-Sea Species: #23 Dumbo Octopus

by Kevin Zelnio

Grimpoteuthis Dumbo Octopus

Whoever said that Dumbo the Flying Elephant wasn’t real?? He was actually an octopus not an elephant. Dumbo octopuses (Grimpoteuthis sp. shown above) elegantly glide along the seafloor eating snails and worms. According to MBARI:

"Grimpoteuthis swim by moving their fins, pulsing their webbed arms, pushing water through their funnel for  jet propulsion, or all three at once. They can swim up off the bottom and hover a bit just above the seafloor looking for snails, worms, and other food."

Dumbo octopuses comprise of  more than just Grimpoteuthis, the fins sprouting out from the head region and webbed tentacles are characteristic of a few other genera. They can reach up to 1.5 meters long, but are often very small, fitting in the palm of your hand. Ok, all together now: Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! So Cute!


Kevin Zelnio (870 Posts)

12 Replies to “The 27 Best Deep-Sea Species: #23 Dumbo Octopus”

  1. Karen, thanks for posting the artist of the song in the video. I was having trouble placing it… time to add it to my iTunes.

  2. Does it reveal my age if I had that album on vinyl? ;)

    If you want to search iTunes for something aquatic in nature, I recommend “Aquaria” by Diane Arkenstone or “Oceanic” by Vangelis.

  3. I have a copy of The Deep and I flip to the page with the little Dumbo Octopus as an example of the cool life that might live in the proposed Mariana Trench Marine National Monument. He gets a lot of oohs and aahs. I want him to be our tourism mascot.

  4. That would be the coolest mascot ever! I bet you could get a photo licensed for free if you approached with your cause. You should get Craig to make you a logo/banner. He made all of DSN’s banners old and new.

  5. Didn’t I see one of those in Pokemon???

    Incidentally tho Dumbo was a real elephant in the Barnum and Baily circus. His remains (He was run over by a train up in Winnipeg, Canada and killed…oi) are in the Smithsonian.

  6. Awww…It reminds me of a little girl with pigtails twirling a tutu!
    (Sorry about the wierd analogy)

  7. How cool is that?!! The pig butt worm is weird but this little guy is awesome! The song is a great addition to the vid. ;)

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