Unfortunately, Zoologix beat us to the story of Henry the Hexapus. Henry, caught in a lobster pot off north Whales, is the first reported six-legged octopus. The loss of two limbs did not occur from a tangle with some thug octopus but rather results from a birth defect. If you’re interested in how such a thing could happen in this beautiful world, PZ has a whole post on HOX genes and cephalopod development that is good preliminary reading. How common are octopod defects? Below the fold is something we like to call Cephalopod Freak Show!
- Heptapus: Gledall (1989) “A male specimen of Octopus is described which has only seven arms”
- Double Tentacle Bifurcation in Moroteuthis ingens reported by Gonzalez and Guerra in JMBA.
- A decapodous Octopus briareus reported by Toll and Binger (1991)
- Super crazy branching in Japanese Octopuses reported by Okada (1965)
- Henry the Hectapus