Science & Environment

Deep-Sea Octopus Nursery Found Off Costa Rica

Marine scientists discovered a beforehand unknown octopus nursery in a discovery that would assist result in better safety for the encompassing space off the Costa Rican coast.

“The discovery of a new active octopus nursery over 2,800 meters beneath the sea surface in Costa Rican waters proves there is still so much to learn about our Ocean,” Dr. Jyotika Virmani, an government director on the Schmidt Ocean Institute, mentioned in a statement from the nonprofit revealed Wednesday. The worldwide staff of scientists made their ocean expedition on the institute’s analysis vessel, the Falkor (too).

Brooding octopus moms on an unnamed outcrop off the coast of Costa Rica.

On the voyage, scientists explored the Dorado Outcrop, a rock formation the place in 2013, octopus moms have been noticed gathering collectively to brood their eggs ― the primary time scientists had ever seen that occur. But on the time, researchers weren’t positive if the nursery was viable. Deep-sea octopuses desire chilly temperatures, however the outcrop is subsequent to a hydrothermal vent that causes hotter waters than the encompassing space, Gizmodo reported.

On the most recent mission, scientists confirmed that the Dorado Outcrop was an “active nursery” and witnessed baby octopuses hatch. On high of that, they found one other completely new nursery in the identical normal space. Those two nurseries, plus another one off the coast of Monterey, California, brings the entire variety of recognized octopus nurseries as much as three.

Only three deep-sea octopus nurseries are known to humans.
Only three deep-sea octopus nurseries are recognized to people.

“I was bouncing off the walls,” Dr. Rachel Lauer, a geoscience professor at Canada’s University of Calgary, said in a video about the expedition’s discoveries.

The octopuses discovered within the nurseries close to Costa Rica belong to the genus Muusoctopus ― small to medium deep-sea octopuses that don’t have ink sacs. The scientists suspect the octopuses they noticed are “potentially a new species” of Muusoctopus, the Schmidt Ocean Institute information launch mentioned, although this has not been confirmed.

The octopus that researchers believe may be a newly discovered species.
The octopus that researchers consider could also be a newly found species.

The analysis may very well be used to find out whether or not the seamounts within the space of the nurseries ought to be granted safety from human actions. Currently, there are not any protections in place.

“For the majority of people, the ocean is just another body of water,” Dr. Jorge Cortés Núñez, a biology professor on the Universidad de Costa Rica, mentioned within the video, translated from Spanish by Schmidt Ocean Institute. “They can’t imagine what’s there. The seafloor is 3 kilometers below us, and what we are seeing is a whole other world down there.”

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