Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

Sponsored by the American Physiological Society

New species of octopus?

new species of octopus

NOAA image of a possible new species of octopus discovered near Hawaii. Photo credit: AP, NOAA

Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) think they have discovered a new species of octopus while exploring the ocean floor around Necker Island (near Hawaii). The octopus was found 4,290 meters deep. Interestingly, fins were absent from the pale octopus, which NOAA scientist Michael Vecchione noted was unusual for an octopus living at that depth. Moreover, its suckers were found to be in a single row on each of its arms, as opposed to two rows. These are characteristics common to octopuses that swim at shallow depths less than 4,000 meters deep.

Other unusual features of this ghost-like octopus were that it seemed rather unmuscular and lacked chromatophores (pigment cells) that are common to most cephalopods.

You can see a video of the octopus and additional photos on the NOAA website.

Categories: Comparative Physiology

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