Monday, November 23, 2009

Giant "Dumbo" octopus one of Census of Marine Life finds

"Dumbo" octopuses, a rare gelatinous type with earlike fins used for swimming, were thought to be small as well as primitive. A species discovered this year in a survey of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, though, is two meters long. They appear to live between 1,000 and 3,000 meters deep, a zone where they are one of the larger animals around. This is just one of the continuing trove of weird and wonderful animals emerging from this ongoing survey.
In an unusual sidelight, the comic strip Sherman's Lagoon just ran a timely strip featuring the Dumbo, in which the Census of Marine Life is being carried out by fish swimming around with clipboards. (Oddly, I can't find the Dumbo cartoon on the website at

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