Author: Katie Keck
A so-described “ghostly” cephalopod put its deep-sea acrobatics on full display this week after it was captured by researchers in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in what the team says is a previously unexplored area. The creature is part of a genus known as Grimpoteuthis and is sometimes referred to as a dumbo octopus on account of its fins that look similar to those of Disney’s iconic elephant.
The footage comes courtesy scientists aboard the E/V Nautilus, who beginning this week are in the area studying the underwater ecosystem around Davidson Seamount—a massive underwater mountain with coral forests that look like something straight out of Dr. Seuss book—at depths of up to 12,000 feet. The dumbo octopus was captured Tuesday by the team’s remote operated vehicles (ROVs) during its around-the-clock live feed of its exploration of the mountain’s diverse marine life.
Chad King, the chief scientist on the vessel, told Earther the high-quality footage can be useful not only to scientists who want to identify other species of Grimpoteuthis, but hopefully by adding to the library of data from which experts can pull to study things like octopus behavior.
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