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This octopus is so cute, scientists want to call it 'adorabilis'

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(Picture: MBARI)

A scientist studying an unnamed octopus with pink, gelatinous skin and huge, googly eyes has decided that it's so cute she might have to call it 'adorabilis'.

Dr Stephanie Bush from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) has the honour of naming the deep-sea cephalopod from the Opisthoteuthis genus:

As someone that's describing the species you get to pick what the specific name is. One of the thoughts I had was making it Opisthoteuthis adorabilis, because they are just really cute.

Researchers had originally believed this was the same species as Opisthoteuthis californiana (aka 'flapjack octopus' because it's so flat), which has been collected since around 1990, but Bush soon realised there were key distinctions that made it stand out.

Speaking to Science Friday, Kim Fulton-Bennett, a spokesperson for MBARI, explained that naming the creature could take years: "It involves publishing papers, collecting specimens and distributing them to museums around the country," she said.

See more about MBARI's research and the Opisthoteuthis genus in the video below:



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