Here’s an awesome new addition for the Department of Teeny-weeny Wonders: This incredibly wee cephalopod is a baby East Pacific Red Octopus - a very sneaky little baby, as it turns out - if it’s anything like the one discovered living in the Shale Reef exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. You see, while he was found living there, he wasn’t born there:
"A baby red octopus is small enough to sleep on your fingernail. Which explains how one managed to sneak into the Monterey Bay Aquarium on a rock or sponge and stow away there for nearly a year, secretly snacking on the aquarium’s crabs, before being found.”
When he was finally discovered, it was by Security Officer Clara Nilsen, who was making her rounds when she spotted something strange on the floor. What she initially mistook for a banana peel turned out to be a healthy young red octopus. The once itty-bitty stowaway was now the size of a fist.
“We’d noticed that there weren’t as many crabs coming out at feeding time in that exhibit,” said Senior Aquarist Barbara Utter. “Now we realize that’s where they’d all been going—into the octopus’s tummy!”
So sneaky! Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium blog for the complete story.
[via Grist and the Monterey Bay Aquarium]