SCIENCE

New Octopus Is So Adorable It Might Be Named Opisthoteuthis Adorabilis

06/16/2015 02:56 am ET

The most adorable little octopus in the world looks like a cross between a Pac-Man ghost and a Pokemon creature.

Just don't ask for its name because it doesn't have one yet. But the octopus is so cute that "adorable" might become part of its scientific identity.

"As someone that's describing the species you get to pick what the specific name is," Stephanie Bush, postdoctoral fellow at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, who is working to describe the octopus, told Science Friday. "One of the thoughts I had was making it Opisthoteuthis Adorabilis -- because they're really cute."

As the possible name indicates, this rare cephalopod belongs to the Opisthoteuthis genus. That's the same genus as Pearl, the pink flapjack octopus (Opisthoteuthis californiana) in "Finding Nemo."

Specimens of this new octopus have been collected since 1990, but until now they have not yet been scientifically described. The wee octopus is known for the distinctive webbing between its tentacles, which allows it to float like a parachute while using the fins on its mantle to steer.

"These animals are part of the greater ocean ecosystem," Bush said. "And in order to have a healthy functioning ocean ecosystem we need to understand the ecology and behavior of the individual species."

Learn more in the video above, from Science Friday.

(h/t Digg)

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