January 16, 2024
Unexpected octopus diversity found in Costa Rica’s deep sea, along with a new deep-sea skate nursery.
Puntarenas, Costa Rica – Scientists aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s R/V Falkor (too) have discovered at least four new deep-sea octopus species in a 100-square-mile-sized area off Costa Rica.
The international science team discovered the new species during two 2023 expeditions examining seamounts off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The team found two octopus nurseries affiliated with hydrothermal springs during their first expedition in June. Six months later, scientists returned to the nurseries and confirmed they appear to be active year-round. They also observed several other new octopus species away from the hydrothermal springs.
Both expeditions were led by Drs. Beth Orcutt of the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and Jorge Cortés of the University of Costa Rica. The four species were identified and are currently being described by Dr. Janet Voight, associate curator of invertebrate zoology from the Field Museum of Natural History, and Fiorella Vasquez from the Zoological Museum at the University of Costa Rica.