The Shedd Aquarium’s Oceans exhibit has a new resident — a giant Pacific octopus — and they’re asking the public to help them choose a name for it.
From Monday through Sunday, July 4, guests who visit the “Octopus: Blue Planet II 4D Experience” exhibit will also have the chance to cast votes on which name they think suits their new giant friend: an octopus with arms spanning 14 feet long, making it the largest octopus species in the aquatic world.
The Shedd’s animal care staff came up with five options for the public to vote on. Each name honors scientists, doctors, and researchers important to the aquarium’s history. Here are the names, along with brief explanations from the Shedd’s press release:
- Anderson: “For Dr. Roland Anderson, one of the leading cephalopod researchers in the public aquarium field: he worked at Seattle Aquarium and passed away in 2014.”
- Attenborough: “For Sir David Attenborough, whose narrations about nature have reached many millions of people and provided a voice to the natural world.”
- Dofleini (DOF-lee-knee): “Scientific name of the giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini). Scientific names are important because they are universally recognized and allow all people to identify animals clearly, when an animal may have several common names that differ based on region, culture, and language. These names also organize animals into groups based on their similarities and differences.”
- Knapp: “For Dr. Chuck Knapp, the vice president of conservation research at Shedd, who has been at the aquarium for 30 years.”
- Sawyer: “For Ernie Sawyer, Shedd’s senior aquarist who retired last year and was dedicated to the care and welfare of animals in the Oceans exhibit for many years.”
In order to cast a vote, guests need to buy add-on tickets to the new 4D exhibit in addition to general admission into the aquarium. The name with the highest number of votes at the end of the week will be bestowed onto the giant Pacific octopus.