Saturday, July 7, 2007

Curious Cephalopod Capture Creates Controversy

An unidentified sea creature, termed an "octosquid," was found last week off Keahole Point on the Big Island. Image Credit: Honolulu Star Bulletin

Curious Cephalopod Capture Creates Controversy

On a day when “Live Earth – The Concerts For A Climate In Crisis” is trying to bring awareness to the perils of the Earth going through its process of climate transition from cooler to warmer to cooler again … we see this item here while riding on this blue orb shaped as an Oblate Spheroid and discover that humankind never has ALL of the answers.

This new discovery is a cephalopod combination never before seen. This animal found off of the coast of the big island, Hawaii, appears to be a cross between an octopus and a squid (as if that might even be possible) may very well represent a new species of mollusk.

Excerpts from the Honolulu Star Bulletin -

Curious creature caught off Keahole Point
The animal, dubbed an "octosquid," is found off the Big Isle

By Brittany P. Yap / - Thursday, July 5, 2007

It's a squid, it's an octopus, it's ... a mystery from the deep.

What appears to be a half-squid, half-octopus specimen found off Keahole Point on the Big Island remains unidentified today and could possibly be a new species, said local biologists.

The specimen was found caught in a filter in one of
Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority's deep-sea water pipelines last week. The pipeline, which runs 3,000 feet deep, sucks up cold, deep-sea water for the tenants of the natural energy lab.
According to Richard Young, an oceanography professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the specimen tentatively belongs to the genus Mastigoteuthis, but the species is undetermined.
Jan War, operations manager at NELHA, who termed the specimen "octosquid" for the way it looked, said it was about a foot long, with white suction cups, eight tentacles and an octopus head with a squidlike mantle.

The octosquid was pulled to the surface, along with three rattail fish and half a dozen satellite jellyfish, and stayed alive for three days. According to War, the lab usually checks its filters once a month, but this time, it put a plankton net in one of the filters and checked it two weeks later.

The pitch-black conditions at 3,000 feet below sea level are unfamiliar to most but riveting to scientists who have had the opportunity to submerge. The sea floor is full of loose sediment, big boulders and rocks, and a lot of mucuslike things floating in the water, which are usually specimens that died at the surface and drifted to the bottom.

"It's quite fascinating," War said. "When you get below 700 feet, it's a totally different world. Lots of fish have heads like a fish and a body like an eel. There are fish floating in a vertical position, with the head up, and don't move unless they're disturbed."
"It's a beautiful squid. It's a gorgeous ruby red color," Christopher Kelley, program biologist for the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory, said. "We really enjoy these little mysteries that come up."
In October, NELHA will be checking its deep-sea pipelines, something that usually happens every eight to 10 years, because it is worried that something might have happened to them during the earthquakes in October.

"If it's a new species, (NELHA) would like to name it," War said. "But that is sort of the honor of whoever classifies it."

Reference Here>>

For while most zebra-horse crossbreeds sport stripes across their entire body, Eclyse only has two such patches, on its face and rear. Image Credit: Daily Mail

So what do you think? Is it a half & half creation as in a half Horse and half Zebra mating ... or is this creature a new species altogether?

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