Adventure Aquarium welcomes a juvenile Giant Pacific Octopus

By: Kari Milroy, Biologist – Fish & Invertebrates

I would like to introduce you to my new buddy Randolph.  Randolph has 8 arms equipped with suction cups, enjoys living alone, squirts ink, and can taste with his arms. Sort of sounds like a superhero right? Although you’re unlikely to see Randolph fighting crime, you can see this Giant Pacific octopus, along with a host of other unique creatures, in the Jules Verne Gallery at Adventure Aquarium.

Randolph - 1Octopuses come with an assortment of personality types. Some can be mischievous, relaxed, irritable, gentle, and silly. As one of our newest additions to the Aquarium, Randolph is still getting used to his surroundings and is still a bit shy.

Randolph - 3

However, when food is involved, he becomes very excited, changing a vast array of different colors. Octopuses are considered to be the most intelligent of all invertebrates. Because of this, Randolph needs a constant source of enrichment to keep his day interesting.

Randolph2

As an octopus caretaker, I take pleasure in coming up with new and interesting ways to keep my boy happy, healthy, and entertained. Examples of octopus enrichment include introduction of various foods, meeting new people, and presenting his food in different ways. Randolph gets an assortment of goodies three times a week, including capelin, shrimp, herring, squid, and mackerel. However, he gets especially giddy for blue crab. When presenting enrichment, food is typically placed inside a container in which Randolph must open to grab his dinner. Examples of this are clear PVC pipes, water cooler bottles, screw-top jars, puzzles, and even large blocks of ice.

Randolph with toy2

Some of the more fun and rewarding forms of enrichment come from my daily tactile interactions with this special creature.  Check Randolph out in action, below:

Animal Addition: Blue Spotted Ribbontail Ray

Meet the newest edition to KidZone: a Blue Spotted Ribbontail Ray.  The best part?! Guests of all ages have the chance to get up close to, and actually touch this beautiful species during their visit, as it is located in our Gill’s Grotto touch tank in Zone D.

Blue Spotted Ribbontail Rays are common throughout the tropical Indian and Western Pacific Oceans in coral reef-associated habitats. It is a fairly small ray (not normally exceeding 14 inches in width), with a mostly smooth, oval pectoral fin disc, large protruding eyes and a relatively short and think tail.  As you can tell by the pictures, it can be easily identified by its striking color patter of electric blue spots on a yellowish background, paired with blue stripes on its tail.

Trust us – these pictures don’t do this gorgeous creature justice. It’s one super cool-looking ray! Be sure to welcome him to the Adventure Aquarium family during your next visit.