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Giant octopus in Cheshire to be set brain-teaser challenges

Dave the Octopus Photo: Blue Planet Aquarium

A giant octopus in Cheshire is being set a series of brain-teasing challenges to test its intelligence.

Dave the giant Pacific octopus is being provided with a selection of toys and puzzles at the Blue Planet Aquarium as part of an ongoing environmental enrichment programme.

The aquarium says Dave is already impressing aquarists with his mental capacity. The octopus has already learned how to unscrew jars lids to get at the food inside.

"We're busy devising a whole selection of different puzzles and tests for him which will not only show how smart he really is but will also provide him with an ever changing set of activities to keep him mentally stimulated."

"Although he is incredibly strong and each tentacle is covered with suckers the size of 50 pence pieces, he's actually surprisingly gentle."

– Joe Chapman, Aquarist
Dave the Octopus Credit: Blue Planet Aquarium

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).

Giant Pacific octopus also mature quickly, going from the size of a rice grain at birth to being fully grown within the space of two years.

For more information visit the Blue Planet Aquarium website.