Wednesday, October 17, 2012
A baseball-sized octopus usually found only in the tropics has been scooped up by fishermen off Los Angeles, and aquarium officials are fascinated.
Unusually warm fall weather and balmy ocean currents have created perfect conditions for the female Argonaut, or paper nautilus, a cephalopod rarely seen in Southern California.
The Torrance Daily Breeze reports fisherman who accidentally landed the octopus brought it to the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium this week.
The paper nautilus floats near the ocean surface, grasps small crustaceans and mollusks with its eight sucker-covered tentacles and gnaws on them with its tiny beak.
Aquarium director Mike Schaadt says the creatures spend their lives caught up in a warm current, where they are often gobbled up by swordfish, sailfish, tuna or blue sharks.