Last updated: May 29, 2020 at 14:27 pm
Dumbo octopus (Grimpoteuthis) — 6957 m (22,825 ft), Java Trench (Indian Ocean). The octopus was remotely observed using an autonomous baited camera and trap lander in April 2019.
Grimpoteuthis is a genus of pelagic umbrella octopuses known as the dumbo octopuses. The name “dumbo” originates from their resemblance to the title character of Disney’s 1941 film Dumbo, having a prominent ear-like fin which extends from the mantle above each eye. There are 13 species recognized in the genus. Prey include crustaceans, bivalves, worms and copepods. The average life span of various Grimpoteuthis species is 3 to 5 years. Most species grow to maximum lengths of 20-30 cm (7.9 to 12 in.).
The Cephalopoda are not typically considered characteristic of the benthic fauna at hadal depths (depths exceeding 6000 m), yet occasional open-net trawl samples have implied that they might be present to ~ 8000 m deep. Previous in situ photographic evidence has placed the deepest cephalopod at 5145 m. The discrepancies between the two have meant that the maximum depth for cephalopods has gone unresolved. In this study we report on unequivocal sightings, by HD video lander, of a cephalopod at hadal depths. The demersal cirrate octopod Grimpoteuthis sp. was observed at both 5760 and 6957 m in the Indian Ocean. These observations extend the known maximum depth range for cephalopods by 1812 m and increase the potential benthic habitat available to cephalopods from 75 to 99% of the global seafloor. — Jamieson & Vecchione, 2020