Henry the Hexapus

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Henry the Hexapus was a six-limbed octopus found by British marine scientists in 2008.[1][2] The name alludes to King Henry VIII, who had six wives.[3] While the name Hexapus is descriptive, Henry the Hexapus should not be confused with Hexapus the recognized genus of crabs.

The octopus was found off the coast of North Wales in a lobster pot, and was held in captivity at the Blackpool Sea Life Centre in North West England. His unusual number of arms was not immediately noticed, and appears to have resulted from a natal anomaly, rather than a physical accident.[1][2] Developmental biologist PZ Myers called the defect "an ordinary sort of error."[4] After being taken from the sea, Henry was transferred to the Anglesey Sea Zoo, which, in turn, donated him to the Blackpool Centre, where he was featured in an exhibition entitled "Suckers".[2] An aquarium spokeswoman stated that "He's a lovely little thing."[1]

Many other octopus arm anomalies have been recorded in the past.[5][6] American tourists visiting Portugal also claimed to have captured images of a six-limbed octopus in the waters of Portinho Arrábida, although experts could not confirm the sighting without additional information.[7] Another family of America tourists did capture a hexapus in Greece in 2013, as verified by photographs, but cooked and ate it (with lemon).[8][9]

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  1. ^ a b c "Six-legged 'hexapus' claimed as world first in Britain". 3 March 2008. Archived from the original on 6 March 2008. Retrieved 3 March 2008.
  2. ^ a b c Chivers, Tom (3 March 2008). "A hexapus, not a six-legged octopus". Telegraph. Retrieved 3 March 2008.
  3. ^ Ahmed, Saeed (4 March 2008). "World's first six-legged octopus discovered". CNN. Retrieved 6 March 2008.
  4. ^ PZ Myers (3 March 2008). "Hexapus!". Archived from the original on 6 March 2008. Retrieved 5 March 2008.
  5. ^ Kumph, H.E. (1960). "Arm abnormality in octopus". Nature. 185 (4709): 334–335. doi:10.1038/185334a0.
  6. ^ Toll, R.B.; Binger, L.C. (1991). "Arm anomalies: cases of supernumerary development and bilateral agenesis of arm pairs in Octopoda (Mollusca, Cephalopoda)". Zoomorphology. 110 (6): 313–316. doi:10.1007/BF01668021.
  7. ^ http://www.publico.pt/ecosfera/noticia/um-dois-tres-quatro-cinco-seis-tentaculos-1618696
  8. ^ Johnson, Daniel (26 July 2013). "Fisherman smashes rare six-legged octopus against rock and eats it". (with pictures). The Telegraph. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Tourist Smashes, Kills, Eats Octopus Only To Find Out It's An Extremely Rare 'Hexapus'". Huffington Post. 26 July 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2018.