03/15/2013 08:52 pm ET

Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Makes World Debut In San Francisco (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

The California Academy of Sciences has had some strange creatures over the years. But its newest little resident might be the museum's biggest find yet.

This month, the museum celebrated the world debut of the Larger Pacific Striped Octopus. The unusual cephalopod is one of the rarest creatures in the world -- so rare, in fact, that it does not yet have a scientific name, and was not discovered until 1991. The current exhibit is its first public display in history.

“I’m thrilled that Academy visitors will have the opportunity to view this fascinating animal up close in the aquarium," said Cal Academy biologist Richard Ross, who raised the octopi on display at his house in Alameda. "They’ll see just why its beauty, unique mating technique and social habits are intriguing the cephalopod community."

Besides its brilliant color-changing abilities (see video above) the octopus is also unique for its mating habits.

The good folks at Cal Academy explain:

When it comes to mating and reproduction, the Larger Pacific Striped Octopus defies conventional octopus behavior in several surprising ways. Because female octopuses have a tendency to eat their mates, the animals usually live solitary lives -- and when they do come together to mate, they typically try to stay as far away as possible from their mate’s mouth. However, pairs of Larger Pacific Striped Octopuses can live peacefully together in an aquarium, at times sharing a den, and they mate in an intimate beak-to-beak, or sucker-to-sucker, position.

Check out photos of the Larger Pacific Striped Octopus in the slideshow below:



Larger Pacific Striped Octopus
Extreme Animal Mating