For Release: March 25, 2010
Communications Office (202) 633-3055
It is a natural explorer in the wild and seems to have an impressive memory. It has eight arms, no spine and its very own Web cam. That is how the National Zoo describes its new giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini), which has been making a name for itself over the past few weeks. The only problem? It still needs a name.
Starting today, the public can vote online for one of four names that the invertebrate keepers and volunteers have provided for the Zoo’s newest charismatic cephalopod. Polls will remain open until noon Wednesday, April 7. The winning name will be announced via the octopus cam at 2 p.m. and on Facebook and Twitter shortly thereafter.
“This particular octopus is very active and not at all camera-shy,” said Alan Peters, curator of invertebrates at the National Zoo. “Naming an octopus is always a tough decision, but each of these names is unique and has a specific meaning.”
One difficulty in picking a name is the gender. Although most staff members believe the octopus is a male, it will take more time for the octopus to mature before the Zoo can confirm this. In the past, this has called for some flexibility—one time, a female “Sunny” became a male “Sonny.”
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