Cute octopus found, and researchers have a cute name for it
Wednesday, June 17, 2015, 5:19 PM - Scientists might be giving an adorable octopus a fitting name.
While researchers have been collecting samples of this rare creature since 1990, they don't know much about it yet.
It's part of the Opisthoteuthis genus, but the tiny octopus hasn't been given a name. But Stephanie Bush, a post-doctoral researcher at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in California, has an idea.
"As someone that's describing the species you get to pick what the specific name is," she said in a video produced by Science Friday.
"One of the thoughts I had was making it Opisthoteuthis Adorabilis -- because they're really cute."
Bush describes the species as 'gelatinous' and 'fragile', and is best characterized by large eyes on either side of its head.
It has webbing between its tentacles, which allows it to float through the water while using fins to steer.
Scientists are currently incubating a batch of eggs from the species. It will take some time for them to hatch, but when they do, they believe creatures will provide researchers with a greater understanding of their natural, deep-sea environment.
"These animals are part of the greater ocean ecosystem," Bush told Science Friday.
"In order to have a healthy functioning ocean ecosystem we need to understand the ecology and behaviour of the individual species."