Researchers shocked by the discovery of hidden Giant Pacific Octopus species in Alaska
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Researchers shocked by the discovery of hidden Giant Pacific Octopus species in Alaska

A recent study conducted revealed few facts about the giant Pacific octopus. Nathan Hollenbeck, an undergraduate student at Alaska Pacific University carried out the research which shows that the giant Pacific octopus is actually two separate species which is morphologically different. Around 18,000 new marine species were detected by the scientists in the year 2016. Most of the detected species are quite weird and are unknown insects that normally live in one place like in Nicaragua. Even though the scientists have carried out several investigations on giant Pacific octopus, till now they are unable to understand this species.

In the year 2012, some samples were taken by the researchers from US Geological Survey and Alaska Pacific University which proved that the giant Pacific octopus was a genetically distinct group of GPOs in Prince William Sound. But as they returned the octopuses back in the wild, they did not know whether the two species are morphologically different or now. But now, Hollenbeck has given a huge breakthrough to this fact. He detected the new species of the giant Pacific octopus by looking at shrimp fishing bycatch, where a bunch of these octopuses were caught by Alaskan fishermen.

The giant Pacific octopuses are more common in Japan, Alaska and California, but no one ever noticed the octopus even though these octopuses are being caught since many years. The giant Pacific octopus weighs around 10 feet long and weighs about 110 pounds. However, this creature can grow up to 30 feet, and can weigh nearly 600 pounds.  This new species of giant Pacific octopus has a sort of frill along its body and has two white spots on its head.

Hollenbeck’s study was published in American Malacological Bulletin. The new species is called the “frilled giant Pacific octopus.” With this new discovery, Hollenbeck has now become the first researcher to grab skin swabs to collect DNA samples which proved that he had the right octopus.