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In Brief

Man Kills and Eats Rare Six-Legged Octopus

An American tourist to Greece happened upon an octopus with six legs, also known as a "hexapus." Then he smashed it against a rock and ate it. Only later did he realize that the so-called hexapus is very rare, and that this was only the second six-legged octopus ever found, according to news reports.

The man, Labros Hydras, a mechanical engineer from Washington, D.C., told The Telegraph that in past visits to the country he'd eaten (eight-legged) octopus without feeling guilty, since it's a local tradition. But a call to a biologist friend of his alerted him to the rarity of his ill-chosen meal. Now he wants to make scientists aware of this animal (which he ate with a slice of tomato, lemon and salad). "It is the least that I can do given my ignorance and guilt that I feel for killing such a rare animal," he said.

Octopus can end up with six legs due to developmental abnormalities, and are not thought to be a new species, marine biologist Matt Bentley told the Telegraph. It's possible the creature could have also been injured and healed over time, he said.

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Douglas Main
Douglas Main
Douglas Main loves the weird and wonderful world of science, digging into amazing Planet Earth discoveries and wacky animal findings (from marsupials mating themselves to death to zombie worms to tear-drinking butterflies) for Live Science. Follow Doug on Google+.