Marine biologists find adorable, pea-sized octopuses in Hawaii
If being a marine biologist in the oceans around Hawaii already sounds like paradise, here is a teeny-tiny discovery that makes it even better.
Researchers from the Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park in Hawaii were taking a break from their task of monitoring a coral reef one day. They noticed some plastic floating and picked it up only to find two most adorable, itty-bitty octopuses hiding amongst the debris.
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According to park marine biologist Sallie Beavers, the octopuses were the size of peas, and one of them squirted an adorable bit of ink—a natural defense mechanism of the eight-armed invertebrate.
The researchers later shared the discovery with the world in a blog post with some stunning photographs:
Another blog post, shared by the Department of the Interior, explained further:
Two octopus species here in Hawaii (the “round spot” and “crescent-spot”) only grow to the size of a golf ball and weigh a max of 3 ounces, while the octopus ornatus (most common octopus found in Hawaii) grows to about 2 feet long.
Fortunately, the team was able to rehabilitate the mini octopuses on their next dive, “safe and sound in a small protected space,” they reported online.
Octopuses—the plural of which is not octopi, as the Department of Interior pointed out—inhabit different regions of the ocean, from coral reefs, to intertidal shores, to the open seas. The soft body of octopuses are able to change shape, and some are able to change color as well, to camouflage into their environment.
The mollusk has eight arms—sometimes mistakenly called tentacles—which trail behind it whilst it swims. The octopus uses a siphon to jet-stream water in order to achieve locomotion.
Far from being unintelligent, octopuses are said to posses a sophisticated nervous system and are one of the most intelligent of all invertebrate species. Evidence shows that they have both short-term and long-term memories, are able to solve problems, and even make use of items such as coconut shells as tools.
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