This little white octopus, dubbed “Casper,” certainly looks cute just sitting on a rock ledge more than 4000 meters below the ocean surface. But Casper’s parenting strategy is not as adorable—in fact, it’s positively heartbreaking.
This species (which is so new, it doesn’t have a scientific designation) not only lives in those great depths at several places of the Pacific—researchers made two dozen more observations of its behavior off Ecuador. The animal also attaches its clutch of about 30 small eggs to the stalk of a dead sponge and then wraps its whole body around it. It will stay put to protect its young for several years, not feeding, waning away until the eggs hatch and it dies.
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