Rogue octopus at the Monterrey Bay Aquarium

Photo: Monterrey Bay Aquarium

It’s one thing for giant Pacific octopus Odie to pull himself into an adjacent tank – chances are Shedd workers will find out pretty quickly. But tiny octopuses can cause a bigger stir.

The Moneterrey Bay Aquarium noticed the number of crabs in their Shale Reef exhibit started dwindling during feeding time. It wasn’t until their predator, a red octopus, showed up on the floor of the tank that they knew what had happened.

Baby red octopuses are only about the size of your fingernail when they’re born. Octopuses are also incredible escape artists, able to pick locks and unhinge latches, so it’s not entirely remarkable that one snuck into the Shale Reef exhibit.

By the time the rogue octopus showed himself in plain sight, he was about the size of a fist. The eight-legged cephalopod’s size alone tipped off workers to the case of the missing crabs.

“Now we realize that’s where they’d all been going — into the octopus’s tummy,” says senior aquarist Barbara Utter.

Maybe the octopus was just building up his stomach strength for Thanksgiving.


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