A new octopus species of the Opisthoteuthis genus was discovered roaming the deep waters, but naming the octopus is a tough job for scientists.
If you take a good look at the captures of the octopus, you will instantly notice that it looks nothing like the fear inciting monsters of the deep or the usually not so pleasantly looking brethren of this little guy.
Pink and mushy, with big round nicely edged eyes and two fins on its head resembling small wearable horns, the octopus falls nothing short of cartoon character inspired adorable.
Perhaps it might remind you of a cartoon character indeed. Or an animated game character. Or the cutest stuffed toy to be wrapped up in red ribbon and delivered as a present. Either way, the small octopus became viral with the scientists’ attempt to find a name fitting for it.
For now, the flapjack as it is nicknamed, is awaiting just a little while longer for a name to be bestowed to its species since 1990 when it was first discovered.
Stephanie Bush, the scientist who has the responsibility of naming the little cephalopod and postdoctoral fellow at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute declared in amusement:
“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”.
The flapjack cephalopod was first photographed approximately 330 meters under the Monterey Bay surface. Since its discovery, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute is working in collaboration with the Monterey Bay Aquarium aquarists to fully understand the adorable species.
So far, it is known that the Adorabilis lives in the deep ocean water, below 1,000 feet. Only approximately seven inches long, the tiny specimens are fragile, gelatinous and feature a web that connects their arms.
Using one of three means of motion or all three at once, the small cephalopods roam the ocean floors praying on creatures even smaller than they are. They move either by using their fins to swim or by funneling water to propel their tiny bodies upwards and hover for a while. Otherwise, they choose to move the web-connected arms in a wobbly dance.
Although the tiny, adorable cephalopod was discovered in 1990, naming the new species is a lengthy and complex process that also involves the collection of specimens to be sent to museums and aquarium nationwide.
This proved problematic as whatever specimens were captured and held for a while in captivity died.
One of the adorable fragile cephalopod laid eggs which are still being kept at Monterey Bay Aquarium, in the hope they will hatch and bring more Opisthoteuthis adorabilis to the aquarium.
Image Source: cmgdigital.com