Fun Dumbo Octopus Facts For Kids

Oluwatosin Michael
Jan 05, 2023 By Oluwatosin Michael
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Dumbo Octopus Facts File
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.4 Min

Dumbo octopus, or the umbrella octopus, is possibly the cutest octopus in the world. The most fascinating feature of the dumbo octopus is the ear-like fins protruding near its big eyes. No other species of octopus has this unique feature. Their body is semi-translucent and has an internal 'U' or 'V' cartilaginous shell or mantle. Generally, these cute deep sea creatures differ in various shapes, sizes, and colors. One of the most interesting features of it is that it can change its body color to hide amongst the sea bed. They are amongst the deepest living creatures on the ocean floor. These umbrella octopuses live in the extreme depth of 3280-23000 ft (1000-7000 m) in a cool temperature between 28.4-39.2 F (-2-4 C). Let's find out more important information about this popular octopus.

You'll find in this article dumbo octopus facts for kids, information related to anonymous dumbo octopus, dumbo octopus camouflage, dumbo octopus' predators, dumbo octopus sea habitat, how deep dumbo octopus can go, dumbo octopus' ear-like fins, and so on.

You may also check out blue-ringed octopus facts and mimic octopus facts from Kidadl.

Dumbo Octopus Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a dumbo octopus?

This deepest living species of octopus have been recognized under the 15 species of Grimpoteuthis genus of pelagic umbrella octopuses. Their ear-like fins make them stand out among other octopodes in the ocean. They are believed to be found worldwide but mainly observed around the oceans of New Zealand, New Guinea, Australia, the Philippines, and California.

What class of animal does a dumbo octopus belong to?

The dumbo octopus, scientifically called Grimpoteuthis belongs to the Cephalopod class, similar to a squid and a cuttlefish.

How many dumbo octopuses are there in the world?

There are 15 species of dumbo octopuses in the world. They are rare but can be found all over the world's ocean.

Where does a dumbo octopus live?

The dumbo octopus is an interesting deep-sea living creature. Generally, these species are distributed worldwide in the ocean beds. They are mainly observed around New Zealand, Australia, Monterey Bay (a bay of the Pacific Ocean located on the coast of the U.S), California, Oregon, the Philippines, and, New Guinea.

What is a dumbo octopus' habitat?

Dumbo octopuses live the deepest of any known octopus in the world. They live in the Bathyal zone, a part of the open ocean that extends from a depth of 3280-13100 ft (1000-4000 m) below the ocean surface. The temperature here is very cool and so they've adapted to the cold temperature. Their soft jelly-like body helps them to adapt themselves to such a high-pressure environment. This also helps these umbrella octopuses easily change shape and swim around.

Who do dumbo octopuses live with?

As it is said, they live deep inside the ocean, it is hard to say whether they live in groups or on their own.

How long does a dumbo octopus live?

They live for around three to five years. They have the ability to live in very cold marine water and in absence of sunlight. They cannot survive in any other weather conditions than the ocean bed.

How do they reproduce?

The life span of a dumbo octopus is quite low. They survive between three to five years maximum. However, they do have a high reproductive rate. The females lay approximately 200,000 eggs at a time. Scientists believe that there is no mating season for male and female dumbo octopuses. They have very unusual breeding capabilities. The male dumbo octopus releases an encapsulated sperm packet near the female dumbo octopus. The female carries multiple eggs in various stages of maturation as there is no optimal breeding season. Once the mating finishes, the females store the males' sperm until she finds the suitable conditions to lay eggs. The female dumbo octopus lays its eggs on the hard shells or beneath rocks, or on bits of coral reef and waits to hatch. The newborn baby dumbo octopuses are born with the ability to protect themselves.

What is their conservation status?

These deepest living Grimpoteuthis species are naturally rare because their habitat lies on the ocean bed. Their conversation status is marked as of Least Concern by The National Geographic and their current population trend is also unknown. But since their life duration is too small and the reproduction rate is too high, one can't estimate its population. The species of dumbo octopus are found worldwide in depths ranging from 3280-23000 ft (1000-7000 m). Specimens of dumbo octopuses are found in the coast of Oregon, the Philippines, Martha's Vineyard, the Azores, New Zealand, Australia, California, Gulf of Mexico, Papua, and New Guinea.  

Dumbo Octopus Fun Facts

What do dumbo octopuses look like?

Dumbo octopus is cutest octopus in the world

The dumbo octopus has a translucent body with an internal 'U' or 'V' cartilaginous shell. They appear in different shapes because of their jelly-like body structure. They look like an umbrella if viewed from the top because the webbing between their arms appears to be a small umbrella. So it is also called umbrella octopuses. Some dumbo octopuses are short and yellow, while others resemble a sea jelly.

Apart from their eye-catching ears, they have bell-shaped heads and big eyes. If we compare the diametre of dumbo octopus eyes, then it might come to a third of the width of their head. Despite their big eyes, the dumbo octopus can barely see. They mostly travel by feeling their surroundings through the suckers on their tentacles or sensing the ocean flow by using 'cirri', a strand-like formation around its suckers. On the whole, they have eight webbed limbs on their body. Like other species of the Cephalopoda class, the dumbo octopus does not have the unique ability of the ink sac. An ink sac allows most of the cephalopods to hide from their predators.

How cute are they?

Dumbo octopuses are the cutest among all the octopus species in the world. Their fins are on their mantle which appears to be as cute as Dumbo the elephant, a popular comic Disney character among kids.

How do they communicate?

These deep-sea creatures are considered to be neutrally floatable. They move from one place to another with ease by flapping their dumbo ear-like fins. They use these fins by expanding and contracting to move through the water and drive through ocean currents. They come with the ability to flush their outermost skin color and effectively camouflage them against the ocean bed. It is a sort of communication that they use to protect themselves against attackers. It is also a method through which they communicate with other octopus species as well.

How big is a dumbo octopus?

The largest dumbo octopus ever recorded was 70 in (1.77 m) long and weighed 13 lb (5.9 kg). Most are an average size of 8-12 in (20-30.5 cm) long.

How fast can dumbo octopuses move?

Dumbo octopus moves very slowly. They flap their ears like fins and use their arms to navigate. They forage predators slowly and grab invertebrates with the use of their suckers containing cirri.

How much does a dumbo octopus weigh?

The average weight of a dumbo octopus is around 13 lb (5.9 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name for the male and femaledumbo octopuses. They can be differentiated well from their body structure. The body structure of female dumbo octopuses is commonly gelatinous in structure with a wide width size than the length. It can be roughly one and a half to two times shorter arms. Secondly, the females have shells shaped like U, gills with six lamellae, and larger eyes.

What would you call a baby dumbo octopus?

There is no specific name for a baby dumbo octopus.

What do they eat?

Dumbo octopus diet is carnivores and includes copepods, bristle worms, amphipods, small crustaceans, isopods, and more. As predators, the dumbo octopus swallows its prey whole in one go with the help of a tooth-like ribbon called the radula.

Predators that prey on dumbo octopus includes dolphins and sharks.

Are they dangerous?

The dumbo octopus is not dangerous to humans, and they are rarely seen.

Would they make a good pet?

No,dumbo octopuses cannot be kept as pets. It is because they live deep inside the ocean at a colder temperature. The light, temperature, and water pressure made in the human aquarium are not supportive for them to live.

Did you know...

If the dumbo octopus is removed from the underwater pressure and sea bed temperature then its body shape will squeeze down. The fins and eyes will expand even larger than in their real life.

Naming the dumbo octopus

The dumbo octopus takes its name from Dumbo, the comic character elephant in Disney. It uses its massive ears to fly similar to the dumbo octopus.

What is unique about dumbo octopuses?

They live in deep water where predators and prey are scarce. When Dumpo octopus does find something to eat it swallows their prey with one mighty gulp. Unlike other octopus species, dumbo octopuses do not have ink sacs. Instead of ink sacs, they have cirri or strand-like structures on their suckers in their tentacles. This uniqueness helps these cute creatures to locate food and sense the environment.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these coconut octopus facts and giant squid facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable dumbo octopus coloring pages.

Dumbo Octopus Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Crustaceans, bristle worms, amphipods, copepods, isopods

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?

200,000 eggs

How Much Did They Weigh?

5.9 kg (13 lbs)

What habitat Do they Live In?

up to 13, 000 ft (4000 m) below the ocean's surface

Where Do They Live?

coast of oregon, new guinea, philippines, australia, gulf of mexico, california, and new zealand

How Long Were They?

20-30.5 cm (8-12 inch)

How Tall Were They?

8 in (20 cm)







Scientific Name


What Do They Look Like?

Semi-translucent, pink, white, brown, red

Skin Type

Soft and jelly-like

What Are Their Main Threats?

dolphins, sharks

What is their Conservation Status?

Not Extinct
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Written by Oluwatosin Michael

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

Oluwatosin Michael picture

Oluwatosin MichaelBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

With a Bachelor's in Microbiology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oluwatosin has honed his skills as an SEO content writer, editor, and growth manager. He has written articles, conducted extensive research, and optimized content for search engines. His expertise extends to leading link-building efforts and revising onboarding strategies. 

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