After the shark feeding and training session with Bob I described yesterday, Kyle and I had the privilege of assisting Eric Kellar, a colleague of Bob's and another PPG Aquarium aquarist, with the care of the octopus, named Little Miss Priss. I'm not sure about the Priss part, but from our tankside perspective, she wasn't very little! Eric said she weight 30-40 lbs, and that males of her species can grow up to 100 lbs.
The lid of her tank was a real puzzle to remove, with many latches. While Miss Priss has never gotten out of her tank, Eric confirmed that octopi are true escape artists. He told a story in which the caretaker at another facility was baffled by the disappearance of fish in a tank that contained no predators. Using a video camera to monitor the tank at night, he was amazed to discover an octopus nearby removing the lid of its own tank, crawling out of the water, across the lab and into the tank where the fish were disappearing. After his little midnight snack, the octopus would crawl back to its own tank. Most impressively of all, it would pull the lid of its own tank closed, as if to cover its own tracks. Now there is a aquatic creature I'd like to try training!