The Enteroctopus Dofleini, also known as the Giant Pacific Octopus or North Pacific Giant Octopus, is a large cephalopod belonging to the genus Enteroctopus. It can be found in the coastal North Pacific, usually at a depth of around 65 m (215 ft). It can, however, live in much shallower or much deeper waters. It is arguably the largest octopus species, based on a scientific record of a 71-kg (156-lb) individual weighed live. The alternative contender is the seven-arm octopus based on a 61-kg (134-lb) carcass estimated to have a live mass of 75 kg (165 lb). However, a number of questionable size records would suggest E. dofleini is the largest of all octopus species by a considerable margin.
E. dofleini is distinguished from other species by its sheer size. Adults usually weigh around 15 kg (33 lb), with an arm span of up to 4.3 m (14 ft). However, highly questionable records of specimens up to 272 kg (600 lb) in weight with a 9-m (30-ft) arm span have been reported. The mantle of the octopus is spherical in shape and contains most of the animal's major organs. By contracting or expanding tiny pigment-containing granules within cells known as chromatophores in its tissue, an octopus can change the color of its skin, giving it the ability to blend in to the environment.
This species of octopus commonly preys upon shrimp, crabs, scallops, abalone, clams, and fish. Food is procured with its suckers and then crushed using its tough "beak" of chitin. They have also been observed in captivity catching spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias) of up to four feet in length. Additionally, consumed carcasses of this same shark species have been found in giant Pacific octopus middens in the wild, providing strong evidence of these octopuses preying on small sharks in their natural habitat. In May 2012, amateur photographer Ginger Morneau was widely reported to have photographed a wild giant Pacific octopus attacking and drowning a seagull, which would demonstrate the species is not above eating any available source of protein within it size range, even birds.