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Posted at 3:00 PM ET, 02/26/2010

National Zoo gets new octopus

By Washington Post editors

It's not black and white, but the National Zoo's newest addition will be a big presence growing 13 times its current size over the next year.

It's Enteroctopus dofleini -- a giant Pacific Octopus.


“The new octopus will help us continue to excite people about invertebrates, which make up more than 95 percent of the animal kingdom,” said Alan Peters, the Zoo’s curator of invertebrates.

Peters calls it the "giant panda" of invertabrates. We're not so sure of that, but given the recent departure of Tai Shan we're not going to make a stink about it.

Now for some octopus facts: They emerge from eggs only a little larger than a grain of rice, but as adults they can tip the scales at more than 100 pounds. Some have arm spans of 25 feet (be glad you're not sitting across the table from one.)

The Zoo's new octopus doesn't yet have a name. That will come in March. Zoo officials think it's a he, but aren't 100 percent certain.

By Washington Post editors  | February 26, 2010; 3:00 PM ET
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More like "Butter-Suck"

Posted by: SkinsDiesel | February 26, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Put it back in the ocean! I hope it goes on a rampage & kills every human being in the Zoo's invertebrate dept! If I had any guts, I would rescue it.

Posted by: uncivil | February 26, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

With the Pandas leaving, the Zoo definitely needs another big attraction and I can't think of anything to bring in the tourists like an octopus. What's next, a pony, or a gerbil. Or maybe Octomom snce she breeds like many of the zoo inhabitants anyway.

Posted by: CubsFan | February 26, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: gitkonlyyou | February 26, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

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