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World Octopus Day

October 4, 2016

Hastings’ Blue Reef Aquarium is holding a series of special events and activities to celebrate World Octopus Day on Saturday, October 8th.

This year’s event will be the 10th annual international celebration of the amazing octopus as well as other members of the cephalopod family.

There will be a talk and feeding demonstration with the aquarium’s resident giant Pacific octopus – Count Oswald at midday, an Octo-trail with the chance to win a child’s annual pass and a cephalopod colouring-in corner.

Blue Reef’s Leanna Lawson said: “World Octopus Day is a great way to celebrate one of our star attractions.

We are looking forward to seeing the Octopus creations our younger guests design,” she added.

The giant Pacific is one of the largest octopus species in the world. The biggest recorded specimen had an arm span of 10 metres (33ft) and weighed 270kgs (600lbs).

Each of its arms or tentacles is covered with a double row of powerful suckers which it uses both to catch prey and investigate its surrounding environment.

It has been estimated that the average Pacific octopus has more than 2,000 suckers in total.

As well as being one of the largest, the giant Pacific is also among the cleverest members of the cephalopod family.

In the wild they live along rocky shores although specimens have also been recorded at depths of 1,500 feet. As their name suggests they are found along the US Pacific coast from Alaska to Southern California.

Giant Pacific octopus mature very quickly – going from the size of a rice grain at birth to being fully grown within the space of two years.

Cephalopods range in size from the tiny 5cm long Sepiola to the monstrous Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, or colossal squid, which can reach 20 metres in length and has the largest eye in the animal kingdom –the size of a small car tyre!