Ear: Octopus

"Last week our staff naturalist Jenny W. found this stunning juvenile giant Pacific octopus in the tide pools at Haystack Rock and notified Education Coordinator Lisa Habecker," the Haystack Rock Awareness Program posted May 4 on Facebook.

A little research revealed that an octopus has three hearts, over 2,000 suckers on its tentacles, is as smart as a house cat and can squeeze through any opening big enough for its beak to get through. Full grown, they weigh from 70 to 110 pounds, and can reach almost 16 feet from tentacle tip to tentacle tip.

Denizens of the North Pacific Ocean, the cephalopods swim in waters up to 2,500 feet deep, not far from shore, and live from three to five years. And, in case you're wondering, the accepted plural is octopuses, not octopi, as the root word octopus is Greek, not Latin. (bit.ly/SeaGrantocto)

"Likely, the octopus was hunting when the tide went out, leaving it trapped in shallow water," the post explained. "Lisa was able to safely transport the vibrant cephalopod back out to deeper waters." A screenshot from the video is shown. From the disgruntled look in the octopus' eye, it was not pleased about its snack being interrupted.

The poster added, "finding an octopus in the tide pools is, indeed, quite rare!"

Elleda Wilson is an editorial assistant for The Astorian and author of the award-winning In One Ear community column. Contact her at 971-704-1718 or ewilson@dailyastorian.com.