Tag Archives: cephalopods

Dumbo Octopus: if disney did cephalopods

the dumbo octopus is among the most adorable of cepholopods

the dumbo octopus is perhaps the most adorable of cephalopods


Dumbo octopuses (genus Grimpoteuthis) are so called because their ear-like fins and head-like bodies  recall the disproportionate ears of Walt Disney’s flying elephant of the same name (the resemblance is more apparent in the specimen represented in figure 2, below).  Like its namesake, the dumbo octopus “flies” through the water by means of flapping those remarkable ears ( and by pulsing their arms and shooting water through their funnel).

Retiring by nature, perhaps as a result of being teased by unkind fish in schools (ba-dum-bum),  they avoid the spotlight,  living at typical depths of 100-5,000 meters (though the most deeply traumatized  can be found at 7,000 meters). 

 Alas, little has changed for the dumbo octopus since its school days; many of the  37 species  are still poorly understood.


figure 2: the resemblance to Walt disney's "Dumbo" is apparent

figure 2: the resemblance to Walt Disney's "Dumbo" that earned genus Grimpoteuthis its common name is easily recognized in this image


Cf. http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/blueplanet/factfiles/molluscs/dumbo_octopus_bg.shtml


Filed under marine life, the strange and the beautiful, Uncategorized