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Wow! I am going to have to see that one! It looks great. Kind of ironic that they mention a "dumbo Octopus" in a film sponserd by disney. I cant seem to find a referance to this species anywhere. Rather interesting as it seems to show a evolutionary bond between squid and octopus. I wonder if there is any hard bone in this species?
Wow, the film looks fantastic! I'd plump for a Histioteuthis ID too. Could the unknown 'White octopus' be a Benthoctopus does anyone think? (try comparing a Google image search or this footage http://www.mnh.si.edu/cephs/hte95/hte95.html).
Pacific Blue, the 'Dumbo Octopus' does indeed exist though it usually goes by the scientific name of Grimpoteuthis. It is a primitive form of cirrate octopus somewhat resembling the earliest forms we know evolved. It is a deep water animal, with its arms joined by a web and a pair of powerful fins.
For a true link between the squid and octopuses, you need to look up Vampyroteuthis, the 'Vampire Squid', a deeply fascinating animal and very, very cool.
When I was in my late teens, I used to pester the late Dr. Dustin Chivers at the Steinhardt Aquarium in San Francisco; a fine man, he'd let me pour over Soviet ceph-reference books with amazing watercolours while regaling me with cephalopod facts and theories. He saw a Grimpoteuthis down at MBARI and commented about how the eyes reminded him of old Max Fleischer cartoon characters - we ended up nicknaming the Dumbo octopus "Booptopus".
It's probably Vulcanoctopus (a vent-dwelling taxon) - although the genus is rather poorly known (similar in many respects to 'Benthoctopus').
Actually, the genus Benthoctopus is probably little more than a synonym of Bathypolypus (as the type species of Benthoctopus was actually a Bathypolypus); differentiating the two in accordance with more recent diagnoses, presence or absence of a crop diverticulum, and presence or absence of lateral cusps on the rachidian tooth of the radula, doesn't work for all species. I have yet to see a redescription of 'Benthoctopus piscatorum' (the type species of Benthoctopus), so I am wary of uncritically accepting this synonymy until I do. Nevertheless, and in no way am I criticising Ian Gleadall's work at all, Ian has described a new genus to accomodate at least one of the species typically referred to Benthoctopus - Muusoctopus, and we may well find that a number of other species will eventually be attributed to this genus (Gleadall 2004). There's another genus out there, Atlantoctopus, that really hasn't received the systematic treatment warranted before any new genera were proposed.
Gleadall, I.G. 2004. Some old and new genera of octopus. Interdisciplinary Information Series 10(2): 99-112.