This tiny octopus seen beside one of the scientist's fingertips was found among the plastic debris gathered in Hawaii waters. It was released back into the water, but another one was found attacking a baby crab on another occasion. ( Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park Hawaii | Facebook )
Scientists in Hawaii discover a tiny baby octopus on plastic marine debris while conducting coral reef monitoring. It is so small that it's just the size of a pea.
Tiny Octopus On Plastic Debris
Last August, scientists at the Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park in Hawaii posted several photos of a tiny baby octopus that they discovered while taking a break from coral reef monitoring. Evidently, they also picked up plastic debris along the way, and noticed the tiny creature among the pile.
The scientists note in their post that they released the baby octopus in their next dive, leaving it in a “small protected space.” Soon after, however, the team discovered another baby octopus in another pile of plastic debris, but this time showing its fierce side as the baby octopus was found attacking and killing a baby crab.
Naturally, the photos got a lot of attention, that even the U.S. Department of the Interior tweeted about it. But apart from the adorable nature of the sightings, the find also highlights how marine creatures are being affected by the plastic debris and garbage that is polluting the planet’s waters.
Day Octopus Or Night Octopus?
According to the park’s marine ecologist, Sallie Beaver, it is possible that the baby octopus was either a day octopus or a night octopus. Both species are found in the waters of Hawaii, and both grow to smaller sizes compared to other octopus species, reaching a maximum arm span of up to 2 or 3 feet, and a maximum weight of 10 lbs.
The “day” and “night” species are actually the two most common octopus species in Hawaii. As the name suggests, the day octopus is active during the day and spends nighttime in its den. It was and still being eaten. On the other hand, the night octopus is nocturnal, which means that it is active during the night and stays in its shelter during the day. This species, however, is rarely eaten but is still hunted by some to be used for traditional medicine.