Some things are just so cute and cuddly they deserve fitting names. One octopus with big round eyes, a pink color and a body more reminiscent of a stuffed animal is simply adorable and might be named just that.
Discovered by the team at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), the team is faced with naming this unclassified species and is toying with a unique one.
“As someone that’s describing the species you get to pick what the specific name is,” Stephanie Bush, postdoctoral fellow at the MBARI, mentioned in an article in Science Friday. “One of the thoughts I had was making it Opisthoteuthis adorabilis — because they’re really cute.”
The naming process for a newly discovered species is not just as simple as picking out a name and calling it a day. The process is long and can last years. According to MBARI spokesperson Kim Fulton-Bennett, “It involves publishing papers, collecting specimens and distributing them to museums around the country.”
If you are wondering why this looks familiar, it is because this rare cephalopod that lives in the depths off Monterey Bay, belongs to the Opisthoteuthis genus and is similar to the pink flapjack octopus (Opisthoteuthis californiana). The team originally thought they were the same, but after Bush joined the team she began noticing distinctions between the two and realized there were two different species.
Opisthoteuthis are found in the deeper depths along the California up to 1,476 feet and were known to be collected as far back as 1990.