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What Do Dumbo Octopus Eat [Diet & Facts]

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Dumbo octopuses are some of the weirdest creatures you’ll find underwater. They live deep down in the ocean, sometimes more than 2,000 meters below the surface. 

Despite being tiny, they only grow to about 5 centimeters long, they’re quite odd. 

These creatures are called Dumbo octopuses because they have fins that look like big ears, helping them to swim. 

They’re masters of disguise, able to change their color and texture to blend in with their surroundings. 

Plus, they can shoot out water to move themselves around. Dumbo octopuses live all over the world, in both warm and cold oceans. 

They’re mysterious, and scientists are still figuring out a lot about them. Mostly, they eat shrimp and other small animals. 

Their cute looks and special abilities have caught the attention of both ocean lovers and scientists. 

One of the big questions people have about them is, “What do Dumbo octopuses like to eat?” 

In this article, we’ll explore their eating habits, where they live, and other cool facts about them.

What Do Dumbo Octopus Eat: The Complete List of Food


In the deep ocean where the Dumbo octopus lives, it may look adorable, but it’s a master at finding food that’s just right for life deep underwater. 

These smart octopuses are great at hunting. They use their long tentacles to grab hold of small creatures like shrimp, krill, amphipods, and copepods.  

They’re also fond of bivalves and gastropods, using their strong beak-like mouths and muscular arms to crack open shells and feast on the soft insides, including clams, mussels, and snails

Even though they’re small, Dumbo octopuses are clever hunters. They can sneak up on and gobble up small fish like lanternfish and small hake very quickly. 

They’re not fussy eaters either; they enjoy eating jellyfish, ctenophores (comb jellies), and lots of other sea creatures that live on the ocean floor, like worms and isopods. 

They’ll even munch on tiny floating organisms like larvae and small crustaceans.

Their skill at changing what they eat shows how tough they are in living in one of the toughest places on Earth. 

They pick what to eat based on what’s around and what they like best.

What Do Baby Dumbo Octopus Eat?

Baby Dumbo octopuses, just like grown-up ones, usually eat small creatures that live in the deep sea. 

They might munch on tiny things like plankton, small shellfish, and other little marine animals they can catch with their tentacles. 

As they get bigger, they might start eating a wider range of foods, similar to what adult Dumbo octopuses eat.

Where do Dumbo Octopus Live: The Habitat of Dumbo Octopus

Dumbo octopuses, also called Grimpoteuthis, are creatures that live deep in the ocean all over the world. 

They like to hang out in really deep areas of the ocean, anywhere from 1,300 to 23,000 feet below the surface. 

These super-deep places are often called the abyssal zone or abyssopelagic zone, which is the darkest and deepest part of the ocean.

Dumbo octopuses prefer to make their homes on the soft ocean floor, like in muddy or sandy areas. 

You can usually find them near underwater mountains called seamounts or along the sides of continents where the ocean floor slopes down.

Their deep-sea home is super cold, has a lot of pressure from the water above, and hardly any light reaches down there. 

But Dumbo octopuses have gotten good at living in these tough conditions. 

They’ve learned how to hunt for food and avoid other sea creatures that might want to eat them.

Their appearance is really special, with fins that look like big ears, similar to the elephant character Dumbo. 

People who study the ocean and those who love it find Dumbo octopuses interesting. 

But because their home is so far down and so tough to reach, there’s still a lot we don’t know about them. 

Scientists are still trying to learn more about these fascinating creatures by exploring the deep sea.

How do Dumbo Octopus Find its Food?

In the deep, dark abyss where the Dumbo octopus lives, finding food is tough. 

Their big, ear-like fins may look cute, but they’re there to help them hunt in this challenging place.

Since they can’t see well in the dark, they rely on other senses, like smell and touch, to find their meals. 

Scientists think their keen sense of smell helps them sniff out tiny creatures like shrimp and worms

Plus, their arms are super sensitive, acting almost like fingers to feel for vibrations and chemicals in the water that signal food nearby. 

Even though they can’t fly with their fins, they’re useful for making currents to bring food close to their mouths. 

Dumbo octopuses use a combination of smell, touch, and fin movements to catch their dinner in the deep sea.

But understanding exactly how they do it is still a big puzzle for scientists, who are working hard to figure it out by studying these fascinating creatures up close.

dumbo octopus

Interesting Facts About The Dumbo Octopus

The Dumbo octopus stands out because it looks a bit like the Disney character Dumbo the elephant, especially with its big, ear-like fins on each side of its head. 

These fins aren’t for flying though; they’re used for steering as the octopus moves around.

1. Deep-Sea Dwellers: Living deep in the ocean, Dumbo octopuses are some of the deepest-dwelling octopus species, hanging out as far down as 13,000 feet below the surface. 

They live in oceans all around the world, especially in the very deepest parts called the abyssal zone.

2. Slow Movers: Unlike other octopuses that zip around, Dumbo octopuses prefer to take it slow, gently gliding through the water using their ear-like fins. 

This slow movement helps them save energy because food can be scarce in their deep-sea homes.

3. Rarely Seen: Because they live so deep and are quite shy, Dumbo octopuses are rarely seen by people. 

Scientists mostly learn about them from samples collected during deep-sea expeditions.

4. Small Size:  Despite being called Dumbo, these octopuses are quite small, only about 8 to 12 inches long from head to tentacle tip. 

Their small size makes them easy prey for bigger creatures in the deep sea.

5. Adaptations for Deep-Sea Life:  To survive in their extreme environment, Dumbo octopuses have some cool adaptations. 

Their bodies are gelatinous, which helps them handle the high pressure of the deep sea. Plus, their tentacles are super sensitive, helping them feel around in the dark and find food.

6. Varied Diet:  Speaking of food, Dumbo octopuses aren’t picky eaters. They’ll munch on whatever small creatures are available in their habitat, like fish, crustaceans, and mollusks.

7. Not Meant for Aquariums: Dumbo octopuses aren’t suitable for aquariums because they have special needs related to the high pressure of their deep-sea home. 

They rely on the unique conditions of the ocean depths to survive. While they might seem like cool pets, it’s best to admire them in the wild where they belong.

Overall, Dumbo octopuses are really interesting creatures with special features that help them thrive in one of the most extreme environments on Earth.


In summary, the Dumbo octopus is an intriguing creature that lives in the deep sea. It has many special features that help it survive in one of the toughest places on Earth.

Whether it’s its varied diet, its interesting home, or its fascinating actions, this octopus never fails to amaze those who are curious about the secrets of the deep ocean.


Are Dumbo Octopus Venomous?

No, Dumbo octopuses are not venomous.
They don’t have venom like some other species of octopuses.
Instead, they rely on their unique appearance and behaviors to protect themselves from predators.

Why is the Dumbo Octopus Special?

The Dumbo octopus is special for several reasons. Firstly, it has a distinctive appearance with large, ear-like fins that resemble the Disney character Dumbo the elephant.
Secondly, it lives in the deep sea, making it one of the deepest-living octopus species.
Additionally, Dumbo octopuses have unique adaptations to survive in the extreme conditions of the deep ocean, such as gelatinous bodies and sensitive tentacles.

Can an Octopus Live 100 Years?

While some species of octopuses can live for several years, there is no octopus species known to live for 100 years.
Most octopuses have relatively short lifespans, typically ranging from one to five years, although this can vary depending on the species.

Who Eats a Dumbo Octopus?

Dumbo octopuses are preyed upon by larger predators in the deep sea, such as sharks, large fish, and other cephalopods.
Their small size and soft bodies make them vulnerable to predation.
Additionally, human activities, such as deep-sea fishing, can also pose threats to Dumbo octopuses and their habitat.

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