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Environment & Science

Argonaut, a tropical octopus, fished out of the Pacific Ocean off Los Angeles

A female Argonaut with eggs.
A female Argonaut with eggs.
Wikimedia Commons

In another possible sign of global warming, a tropical visitor has been found in the Pacific Ocean off Southern California.

Unusually warm fall weather and balmy ocean currents have created perfect conditions for the female Argonaut, or paper nautilus, a cephalopod rarely seen in the region.

The baseball-sized octopus was scooped up by fishermen off Los Angeles, and aquarium officials are fascinated, the Torrance Daily Breeze reported.

The fisherman who accidentally landed the octopus brought it to the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium this week.

The paper nautilus floats near the ocean surface, grasps small crustaceans and mollusks with its eight sucker-covered tentacles and gnaws on them with its tiny beak. Aquarium director Mike Schaadt said the creatures spend their lives caught up in a warm current, where they are often gobbled up by swordfish, sailfish, tuna or blue sharks.