Pollsters name octopus after Transformer chief

West Coasters decided to stave off the Decepticons and name the Ucluelet aquarium’s newest Giant Pacific Octopus ‘Octopus Prime.’

Octopus Prime replaced Polly who was released to much fan fare over the Ukee Days weekend.

Polly had been named by Salty Dog Fishing Charters who had brought her to the aquarium and Polly’s predecessor was named Jacqtopus after Jacque Cousteau by aquarium staff.

Octopus Prime is the first octopus to be named by a public vote and the aquarium’s communications coordinator Jessie Fletcher was stoked on the public’s response.

“The community was super engaged, we were extraordinarily overwhelmed,” she said. “People were coming down specifically to submit their names for our octopus.”

Locals submitted over 300 namenominations and aquarium staff widdled these down to three finalists for online voters to pick from: Octopus Prime, George Stroumbouloctopus, and Mr. Big Head. Octopus Prime beat out George

Stroumbouloctopus-after popular CBC personality and former MuchMusic VJ George Stroumboulopoulos- by just 14 votes with Mr. Big Head finishing a distant third.

Octopus Prime weighs in at about 4 kilograms and will likely be released back into the wild in about four months triple the size.

The aquarium hosts three to five octopuses each year as part of its catch and release program as the animals can grow rapidly.

Octopus Prime’s predecessor Polly arrived at the aquarium in May weighing about 5 kg and was up to 16 g when she was released about three months later, according to Fletcher.

She said Giant Pacific Octopuses can grow as huge as 270 kilograms.

The animal is a key feature at Ucluelet’s Aquarium and a “big time” draw for tourists and locals, according to Fletcher.

“The octopus is probably our public’s favourite animal,” she said. “Patrons love the octopus.”

One reason for the octopuses popularity is its graceful movement, which is made possible by a nine-brained system, according to the aquarium’s animal care coordinator and senior biologist Carly Janusson.

“They have a brain in each arm and one in the head, that’s why they can move their arms around so delicately,” she said.

Each arm is equipped with chemoreceptors allowing the animal to taste with its arms.

“They literally taste their environment,” Janusson said.

She said there are increased measures for taking care on a octopus but the extra effort is well worth the result and added octopuses are a top attractor for larger aquariums as well.

She referenced a visitor survey conducted at the Monterey Bay aquarium that revealed the octopus as a key draw.

“Even an aquarium where they have huge sharks and tuna and marine mammals the octopus out-

Just Posted

VIDEO: Pacific Rim Whale Festival’s Chowder Chow Down winners announced in Ucluelet

The event serves as the largest annual fundraiser for the Food Bank on the Edge.

VIDEO: Ucluelet extinguishes Tofino at Spout Ball Challenge

The popular Pacific Rim Whale Festival event was a spectacular success for firefighters and fans.

WATCH: Annual art show opens at Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet

Visitors encouraged to vote for their favourite work of art from March 16-25.

Tla-o-qui-aht artist carving out conversation in Ucluelet

“When you’re creating together and making work together, those conversations really come naturally.”

VIDEO: Ucluelet’s Wild Pacific Trail welcomes new feature

“It’s special. It’s something that people don’t see.”

VIDEO: Ucluelet extinguishes Tofino at Spout Ball Challenge

The popular Pacific Rim Whale Festival event was a spectacular success for firefighters and fans.

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Anti-pipeline protestors block Kinder Morgan tanker near Seattle

Protest was spurred on by the 28 anti-Kinder Morgan activists arrested in Burnaby

Some surprises in new book about B.C. labour movement

“On the Line” charts history of the union movement back to the 1800s

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Canada earns second Paralympic Games silver in 20 years

Held 1-0 lead in para hockey game from 12:06 of first to dying seconds of third and lost in overtime

LETTERS: Two views of oil pipeline protests

U.S. and other petroleum-rich countries aren’t cutting production

Most Read