Henry the Hexapus

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For the subphylum including insects, see Hexapoda.

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]

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] In July 2013 another six-limbed octopus was found in Greece, but was eaten by the vacationers who caught it while snorkeling, who were unaware of its rarity.[7] 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.[8]

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  1. ^ a b c "Six-legged 'hexapus' claimed as world first in Britain". 2008-03-03. Archived from the original on 2008-03-06. Retrieved 2008-03-03. 
  2. ^ a b c Chivers, Tom (2008-03-03). "A hexapus, not a six-legged octopus". Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-03-03. 
  3. ^ Ahmed, Saeed (2008-03-04). "World's first six-legged octopus discovered". CNN. Retrieved 2008-03-06. 
  4. ^ PZ Myers (2008-03-03). "Hexapus!". Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  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. ^ "Family catch incredibly rare six-tentacled octopus during Greek vacation… then bash it to death and serve it up with a slice of lemon before discovering it is only the second ever seen" Daily Mail (26 July 2013)
  8. ^ http://www.publico.pt/ecosfera/noticia/um-dois-tres-quatro-cinco-seis-tentaculos-1618696