An atypical study led by a group of researchers from the Alaska Pacific University has found a new species of Giant Pacific octopus off the coast of Alaska.
Hence, Enteroctopus dofleini which was believed to be one of the largest of all octopus, is actually another distinct species.
According to scientists, they were looking at shrimp by-catch as part of Hollenbeck’s senior-year thesis and found a total of 21 of the cephalopods, of which six were found to be of an unknown type.
"They were identified by an absence of longitudinal mantle folds, the presence of a lateral mantle frill comprised of a semi-continuous line of broad merged papillae forming a frill or flap along the mid-lateral mantle, the absence of papillae or rugose texture on the ventral mantle below the frill, and two distinctly separated frontal white spots (rather than a single simple or compound spot, or none)," Nathan Hollenbeck and David Scheel said while talking about their latest findings on Alaska Octopus Projects website.
In order to confirm the same scientists conduct a genetic comparison between E. dofleini and the new found frilled giant Pacific octopus and the study reveals several significant differences between the two.
"I've been thinking: why would an octopus have a ledge coming off its body like that? Maybe we’re seeing differences in their habitat selection and ecology reflected by differences in their body," David Scheel stated further.
While the GPO can grow up to over 150 pounds (70 kilograms) in weight, adults are typically about 33 pounds.
The study appeared in the journal 'American Malacological Bulletin', under the title "Body Patterns of the Frilled Giant Pacific Octopus, a New Species of Octopus from Prince William Sound, AK." in November.