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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

From the News: 'Adorabilis' octopus on display at Monteray Bay Aquarium

This Friday, a new species went on display at Monterey Bay Aquarium... very new.  So new, it doesn't even have a Latin name.  The staff at the aquarium do have a suggestion however.  Adorablis.

Adorablis, MBARI

The little octopus is one of five collected in the deep waters of Monterey Canyon this summer, and it appears to be a newly described species.  Being a very little known species, there are obviously going to be some challenges in caring for it. Since these little guys are the only members of their species in captivity, and none have ever been kept before, nothing is known about their husbandry needs - only that which can be inferred from what we know of other octopuses.  Fortunately, Monterey Bay Aquarium has a history of success with keeping challenging marine species in captivity.

Whatever is learned about Adorablis (if that's what we end up calling it) will be new information for everyone.  You could ask, fairly enough, about what the big deal of having one more octopus species described to science and sitting in a tank is.  Well, this little guy seems to be a huge hit with the visitors at the aquarium, including locals.  Getting people to understand that there are such exciting, unique animals waiting to be discovered in their own backyards (and down a quarter-mile) can help inspire them to act and protect those habitats.

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