A giant octopus at the Bristol Aquarium is aiming to beat the summer heatwave with the help of some fishy-flavoured frozen pizzas.
The giant two-metre-long octopus is being provided with a selection of icy treats as part of an ongoing environmental enrichment programme.
Among the massive cephalopod’s particular favourite treats are whiting, mussels and mackerel; all of which are now being incorporated in the frozen pizzas.
Bristol Aquarium’s Dan de Castro, said: “Giant Pacific octopus are incredible creatures and we are developing a really close relationship with this particular animal. “The frozen pizzas are definitely proving popular and he goes crazy for them. He doesn’t seem to mind holding on to the freezing cold pizza at all.
“In fact he wouldn’t let go and climbed almost completely out of the water with his tentacles firmly wrapped around the pizza!” he added.
The fishy pizzas serve a double purpose of keeping the octopus cool on particularly hot days and encouraging him to work harder for his food and utilise his natural hunting instincts.
“We have an ongoing programme of environmental enrichment for him which includes puzzles, toys and a variety of other objects for him to explore and investigate,” said Dan.
Giant Pacific Octopus are the world’s largest species of octopus and are found from Japan to Southern California. The biggest recorded specimen had an arm span of 10 metres (33ft) and weighed 270kgs (600lbs).
As well as being the largest, the giant Pacific is also among the cleverest members of the cephalopod family. Giant Pacific octopus mature incredibly quickly – going from the size of a rice grain at birth to being fully grown within the space of two years.
Issued by Bristol Aquarium. For more information please contact Tina Patel or David Waines on 0117 934 0944.