Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Seven-arm Octopus

Haliphron atlanticus
The Seven-arm Octopus has a misleading name. They do actually have eight arms, like all Octopuses do, it's just that one of the arms (the hectocotylus, used for egg fertilization) is often curled up on the males' bodies, making it difficult to see. Females of the species do that have that issue.

Seven-arm Octopuses live in both the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. It was believed to live only in the former until about fifteen years ago, when one was caught off the coast of New Zealand. Interestingly, these creatures have also been found at both the sea floor AND near the surface, which is unusual for Octopuses.

The species is also notable because they are quite large. In fact, they are the largest Octopuses in the world, and can measure over 11ft in length!

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
Size : Length up to 11ft (3.5m)
Classification : Phylum : Mollusca -- Class : Cephalopoda -- Order : Octopoda
Family : Alloposidae -- Genus : Haliphron -- Species : H. atlanticus
Images : RL Hudson

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