Discovery and Demise

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Octopus Adoribilis
Octopus Adoribilis

I promised you I would post the “most fun” thing of the day and this little dude won the Internet today, so here we are.

I know I don’t need to tell you tomorrow is the beginning of PBS Science Friday’s Cephalopod Week 2015! That’s right – seven days to celebrate our eight-tentacled friends and their molluscan friends.

If you study cephalopods, you are studying ‘teuthology.’ Not at all sure how that word became associated with octopuses, squid and cuttlefish and I’m pretty sure I don’t care (OK, I’m going to look it up later, but I’m pretty sure you don’t care, so I’ll let it go).

Let’s get back to this pink little cutie-pie.  He doesn’t have a name yet – the Internet was all abuzz yesterday and today because a scientist suggested naming it Opisthoteuthis Adorabilis.   It will probably end up being named something like Opisthoteuthis Teuthisitis though – it’s gotta be obscure and hard to say if it’s going to be scientific!

The point here is this: we haven’t even NAMED this little friend yet, let alone figured out what he or she is all about.  There are creatures like this all over our planet, just living out their lives, filling in some unknown gap in the ecological chain.  And news of this creature’s existence lit up the Internet at the same time we learned today that these Eastern Cougars no longer require protection under the Endangered Species Act, because they are officially extinct.

Photograph: Kevin Schafer/Getty Images
Photograph: Kevin Schafer/Getty Images

They’re cute too, don’t ya think? Or, I should say,  they were…

 

 

Something to do while stuck in Friday traffic tomorrow – other than look at your phone and pretend it’s OK because you’re stuck in traffic: tune to your local PBS station for day one of Science Friday’s Cephalopod Week – and if you’ve never listened to Science Friday – wow, are you missing out! More here: http://www.sciencefriday.com/video/06/15/2015/isn-t-this-octopus-adorabilis.html

Source stuff: 

Eastern Cougar Extinct: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/17/eastern-cougar-extinct-no-longer-needs-protection-says-us-conservation-agency

Thoughts, opinions, anecdotes? Please share!