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Back You are here: Home Features Events and Features Fort Fisher Aquarium Island Gazette’s Animal of the Week for the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher: August 15, 2012

Island Gazette’s Animal of the Week for the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher: August 15, 2012

Common octopus - A common octopus at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.

Native to the Atlantic Ocean, the common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) thrives in the temperate waters of the North Carolina coast.  The common octopus’s intelligence separates them from other marine invertebrates. Smart enough to learn that a crab pot means food, common octopuses often climb into crab pots to feed on the prey inside. Fishermen sometimes accidentally “catch” these animals when they pull up crab pots. Common octopuses eat sea snails, sea slugs and a variety of crustaceans and mollusks. An average life span of 12 to 24 months doesn’t allow the common octopus to grow as large as other species. A 2 year-old common octopus may reach one to three feet in tentacle length. A common octopus lives at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.