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New studies reveal the alien strangeness of the octopus

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WASHINGTON — The octopus already is an oddball of the ocean. Now biologists have rediscovered a species of the sea creature that’s even stranger and shares some of our social and mating habits.

Biologist Rich Ross at the California Academy of Sciences said a batch of octopuses from Central America just didn’t fit the loner profile that scientists had drawn for the rest of the octopus species.

While most octopuses live alone, coming together briefly for dangerous mating, couples of this species mate beak-to-beak in a romantic way and stay together for a few days.

But it’s more than sex. These octopuses clean food waste from their dens. They twirl their arms like an old-timey movie villain with a moustache.

A report on the species was published Wednesday by the journal Nature.

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