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Feature Creature: Adorabilis Octopus

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Feature Creature: Adorabilis Octopus

photo via MBARI

photo via MBARI

photo via MBARI

Tara Afshar and Logan Nixon

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The Opisthoteuthis Adorabilis, better known as the Adorabilis Octopus is known for being one of the cutest animals on the planet. The octopus is has a gelatinous transparent red mantle that measures around 20 centimeters in length, connected to the mantle are the octopus’ webbed tentacles.
The eight limbed creature was recently discovered by the Monterey Bay Aquarium off the coast of California. The octopus can be found around 200 fathoms or 1,200 feet below the ocean’s surface. Living deep in the ocean, the Adorabilis Octopus can withstand freezing temperatures, extreme pressures and can see in the dark. The octopus scurries along the ocean floor most of the time looking for food, and when the time comes, mates.
This deep sea dweller eats small crustaceans, worms, and small organisms, but the octopus is at risk for being eaten by large deep sea fish and sharks. The sea creature also isolates itself from other octopi, and will normally only come in contact for mating. Female Adorabilis Octopus lay their eggs under small rocks and shells on the seafloor or sediment after mating. From the time they are born, they are on their own for the rest of their lives, and will most likely never see one another again.
When the octopi were discovered by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, they had to be placed in a highly pressurised container to match its habitat. If not kept at the same pressure, the octopus would die since their body is used to their habitats’ high water pressure. A fun fact about this tiny sea dweller is it can not swim and like many other octopi, it uses jet propulsion to move around quickly and escape from predators. It can also use its webbed tentacles to parachute down to the sea floor so it has a lighter landing. A few years back, photos and videos of the octopus became viral on the internet.
Besides being utterly adorable, the Adorabilis Octopus is a very interesting creature. As it has only being discovered a few years ago, there is still a lot of information that is being researched about the creature. Scientists don’t know much other than the creatures’ looks and habitat, but Stephanie Bush at the  Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute has been studying 12 individuals that have all been female Adorabilis Octopi. Bush is currently attempting to incubate a batch of the adorable species in her laboratory. Unfortunately, due to cold temperatures of the deep ocean that they must keep the eggs in, the eggs develop incredibly slowly. The estimated time for them to hatch will not be for awhile, as it will most likely be years until they hatch.
For those wishing to take a glimpse of the cute fist sized pink octopus in the wild; one would have to dive down deep into the Pacific Ocean between 200 to 600 metres, where the frigid water stays around six degrees celsius.
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Feature Creature: Adorabilis Octopus