Researchers captivated with a small big-eyed, octopus may name the new species “adorabilis” because they think it’s “really cute.” Nicknamed “the flapjack”, this still anonymous octopus from the genus Opisthoteuthis has yet to receive an official moniker despite so many –including some members of the press—subjectively comparing it to the likes of a Pokemon character, a Pac-Man ghost or even a puppy.
With so many pressing issues resting on the heads of our scientists, the responsibility for giving this new octopus a name has fallen on the shoulders of a postdoctoral researcher at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) Stephanie Bush. Bush told Science Friday:
“As someone that’s describing the species you get to pick what the specific name is. One of the thoughts I had was making it Opisthoteuthis adorabilis — because they’re really cute.”
Scientists have been collecting specimens of this octopus since 1990 but admit still not knowing much about it. While they know that the deep sea-dwelling cephalopod is generally 7 inches long they have yet to determine how the octopus survives in what is considered “a hostile environment” at depths of anywhere between 984 to 1,476 feet.
The investigative team believes that this new species of octopus stays close to the ocean floor swimming upwards off the bottom only to hover and hunt for its meals of worms, crustaceans and other edibles. The researchers report that the octopus has a unique way of traveling.
The octopus moves by using its fins, pushing water through its funnel to propel itself or by vibrating its webbed arms. Sometimes it is said to use all three methods at one time.
Last year the researchers at the MBARI gathered a number of the new octopuses live. A few survived in captivity at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. They were put on display but most of them only lived a few months.
One did, however, lay eggs. The eggs have been incubating for almost a year and the scientists there still have hope that eggs will hatch because, as they concluded, many deep-sea dwellers incubate their eggs for long periods of time.
New Flapjack Octopus Species Is Adorable?