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March 04, 2008

Henry the Hexapus

Henry the Hexapus is claimed to be the first (and possibly only) hexapus in the world. A hexapus has only six limbs, instead of the more regular arrangement on an octopus of eight such.

Marine experts in Britain believe they have discovered the first six-legged octopus, or "hexapus," which they have named Henry, according to Agence France-Presse. The creature is believed to be the result of a birth defect.

The hexapus is thought to be a result of a genetic defect, not injury:

What has three hearts like an octopus, blue blood like an octopus, but only six legs? Why, a hexapus! And British marine experts say they've got the only one on Earth. The folks at the Blackpool Sea Life Center came across Henry the hexapus two weeks ago. They didn't realize their aquatic creature wasn't an octopus until Henry attached himself to the inside of a glass tank - and the leg count stopped at a half-dozen.

Lucky that he was caught by marine scientists rather than fishermen really:

The world's first "Hexapus" has been found off the coast of north Wales, according to marine experts.

The "Hexapus", which has two fewer legs than a normal octopus, has been christened Henry by staff at Blackpool Sea Life Centre.

Its two missing limbs are the result of a birth defect rather than an accident, experts say.

A hexapus would of course be less of a full meal than an octopus:

What this picture depicts, therefore, is a hexapus. Henry the Hexapus - as he has been christened by his keepers - is a resident of Blackpool Sea Life Centre in the north-west of England.

His shortage of extremities is the result of a genetic defect, rather than an accident, and he is believed to be the first of his six-legged kind known to humanity.

"We've scoured the internet and talked to lots of other aquariums and no-one has ever heard of another case of a [hexapus]," the Centre's displays supervisor Carey Duckhouse said.

Found two weeks ago in a lobster-pot off the coast of north Wales, Henry was one of eight "lesser octopuses" that Sea Life took delivery of from Anglesey Sea Zoo.

March 4, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink

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