Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dance of the Dumbo octopus

Ghostly ‘winged’ octopus caught on camera
This video features the Grimpoteuthis bathynectes species.
Sometimes nicknamed the Dumbo octopus,
its ears are really fins that help it move through the water.

From Wired

A rarely seen white deep-sea octopus has been captured on camera in high definition by researchers from the University of Washington.
The octopus features two “wings” which make it look just like the ghosts from Mario videogames, aka Boos.

Grimpoteuthis bathynectes octopus, also nicknamed the Dumbo octopus, was filmed with an HD video camera at a depth of more than 2,000 metres [6,500 feet] about 200 miles off the coast of Oregon in September 2005 as part of the VISIONS ‘05 expedition led by Professors John Delaney and Deborah Kelley of the University of Washington.

© 2003 MBARI photo from The Deep, a book by French documentary film producer Claire Nouvian
(featuring more than 200 photos of weird deep sea creatures -it looks like the Dumbo octopus has a pair of stylish shoes- taken by scientists from submersibles)

Little is known about the deep-sea octopuses, which live near the hydrothermal vent fields — fissures in the Earth’s surface generally found near volcanically active places that release geothermally heated water- associated with the underwater volcanoes of the Juan de Fuca Ridge in the Northeast Pacific Ocean.

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