Tiny Octopus Is So Cute Scientists Might Name It ‘Adorabilis’

By Carl Engelking | June 16, 2015 12:17 pm
octopus

(Screenshot from YouTube/Science Friday)

Deep in the ocean’s cold, dark waters lives a species of wide-eyed octopus that will surely warm your heart with pure cuteness.

Up until now, these peculiar creatures have gone unnamed. Now, scientists are preparing to formally name the species, and they’re considering the one word that captures this tiny cephalopod’s essence: Opisthoteuthis adorabilis.

Naming Rights

Researchers have been collecting and studying these unidentified cephalopods since 1990, but no one undertook the exhaustive process to scientifically identify them. Scientists need to study newly discovered creatures — inside and out — to clearly describe how they are unique from other species that may be closely related. New species identifications, including a name, are then published as articles in scientific journals.

This species belongs to the Opistotheuthis genus, which includes octopus species that are notable for their compressed shape and stumpy, webbed limbs. The naming task in this case falls on Stephanie Bush, a researcher at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, who has been working hard to classify these aquatic animals.

A Fitting Name

Bush and her team are caring for these creatures in super-chilled, dark aquariums in order to study their internal and external anatomy. The tiny cephalopods have gelatinous, fragile bodies with huge eyes. They spend their days spreading their webbed tentacles and floating through the water, using tiny fins that look like hippo ears to steer. Bush has also dissected the creatures to describe their internal anatomy. And since she’s put in the time, she’s earned exclusive naming rights.

“As someone that’s describing the species you get to pick what the specific name is,” Bush told Science Friday. “One of the thoughts I had was making it Opisthoteuthis adorabilis because they’re really cute.”

What do you think its name should be? Tell us in the comments!

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  • http://www.rosincerate.com Rosin Cerate

    I think it’s a fun name! I did some digging around, and it turns out there’s also Lophornis adorabilis (a cute little hummingbird found in Central America) and Bractechlamys adorabilis (a cute little scallop).

    • Sisyphet

      Also a cute jumping spider, Anasaitis adorabilis.

      • Grace Gosnell

        I LOVE THOSE LITTLE SPIDERS! SO COOL!

        • Andrea6592

          If you are in need for extra payment from 50-300 bucks a day for freelancing from comfort of your home for several hours every day then this may interest you…

  • polistra24

    Wow! The most amazing thing to me is the 2-3 year incubation in the egg. How does it manage that without sheltering the eggs? If the eggs are just sitting on the ocean floor, they’d be eaten long before 2 years, I’d think.

    • GodOfPeace

      They may be buried under the sand, like turtles on a beach. If the octopus didn’t have any sand in the tank then she probably just left them there against her better instincts.

  • Shelly Yribarren Wilson

    I think it looks like Sanrio’s Pocchaco
    Opisthoteuthis Pocchacoiso

    • Grace Gosnell

      PIKA, PIKA!

  • ‘Ina’ Maria Jose Renom-Molto

    It’s wonderful how Nature never ceases to amaze us.

    • Grace Gosnell

      I REALIZED THAT WHEN I GOT TO HOLD 3 TINY HUMMINGBIRDS IN MY HAND. THEY WERE STUNNED BRIEFLY BY BONKING INTO A WINDOW THAT REFLECTED THE SKY- 2 MALES FIGHTING. THEY CAME TO THEIR SENSES AFTER ABOUT 10 OR 15 SECONDS & VANISHED INTO THE AIR.. IT WAS A MIRACLE! THEY WERE LIKE LITTLE JEWELS!

      • ‘Ina’ Maria Jose Renom-Molto

        That must have been so amazing!

  • Naomi

    OMG, so adorabilis!

  • daqu

    The video caption says: “This species belongs to the Opistotheuthis genus ….”

    But the last paragraph quotes Stephanie Bush as saying: “One of the thoughts I had was making it Opisthoteuthis adorabilis because they’re really cute.”

    The genus names are spelled differently.

  • Lorie Franceschi

    Sounds great

  • Grace Gosnell

    I THINK THE NAME IS FITTING, SINCE THEY ARE EXTREMELY CUTE! I WISH THEM LUCK WITH THE EGGS! I HOPE THEY ALL GROW UP TO BE AS CUTE AS THEIR MOTHER!

  • http://s134.photobucket.com/albums/q119/hotbike/ James Donohue

    It looks like a funny Japanese anime cartoon character.

    • disqus_gewfYtjtS1

      @nintendo We need a new Pokemon, Water & Fairy type

  • Tami Anderson

    I think the name is perfect :)

  • Robert Caldwell

    How can a jumping spider be cute?

  • valgale

    Yes! Adorabilis!!!!!

  • SplendidColors

    I vote for adorabilis

  • Denise Whatley

    Yes to names that non-scientists can remember, pronounce and identify!

  • mo11yb1ue

    I love when scientists get to go a bit whimsical with the naming – adorabilis is adorable!

  • LeonardHGibson

    ssdd

  • Issy_Issy

    The name has my vote too!

  • raintaljon

    sfsfsdf

  • VenaJCotton

    fasfsdf

  • badiah

    Adorabilis! It’s perfect.

  • https://myspace.com/feindbildbadurach Klabauterhuhn

    *_____* ♥♥♥

  • sam

    isnt that Opisthoteuthis californiana they were discovered in 1949

  • Saba Shah

    I also vote for adorabilis! They are incredibly adorabilis! DAW *____* ^_^

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