This tentacular little cutie might just be a brand new species of octopus. He’s one of 11 potentially new species discovered in July 2010 during a deep-sea expedition conducted by a team of Canadian and Spanish researchers. The team used a remotely operated vehicle (called ROPOS) in the waters off Newfoundland on Canada’s Atlantic coast, working at a maximum depth of about 9,800 feet (3,000 meters).
The 20-day expedition aims to uncover relationships between cold-water coral and other bottom-dwelling creatures in a pristine yet “alien” environment, according to the researchers’ blog. “It’s been really spectacular,” Ellen Kenchington, research scientist with the Fisheries Department of Canada—one of the organizations involved in the project—told Canada’s CTV News website. “It’s really changing our perception of the diversity that’s out there. … We’re seeing new species in deeper waters.”
How exciting! So, if this purple cephalopod does turn out to be a previously unknown species, what would you name him?
Photograph courtesy of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography
[via National Geographic]