by Brittany P. Yap
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.
“When we first saw it, I was really delighted because it was new and alive,” said Jan War, operations manager at NELHA. “I’ve never seen anything like that.”
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.
War, 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.
Get all the details, and another photo, from the original article at StarBulletin.com.
Find the June 29th announcement of the find at the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.
July 6, 2007
The specimen [died two days later, then] was preserved and sent to the University of Hawaii-Manoa’s oceanography team, which examined the carcass and today announced the deep-sea squid belongs to an already identified species. However, so little is known about the species that scientists have not yet given it a name.
Read the update and what they’ve learned about the octosquid at National Geographic Online.