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National Zoo Asks Public To Name Octopus

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The public can vote for one of four names for the National Zoo's Giant Pacific Octopus.
Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian’s National Zoo
The public can vote for one of four names for the National Zoo's Giant Pacific Octopus.

By Rebecca Sheir

The National Zoo is seeking a name for one of its newest denizens. Zoo personnel are asking the public to vote on their favorite name for the Giant Pacific Octopus.

The gender of the young octopus won't become apparent for another month. So as Donna Stockton, a keeper at the invertebrate exhibit, explains, zoo workers brainstormed four relatively androgynous names.

"There's Ceph, because its a cephalopod," she says. "And Vancouver, where she's from, or he's from. I keep doing that!"

A third choice is "Olympus," because the octopus arrived at the National Zoo just before the 2010 Winter Olympics. The fourth name is "Octavius," since "Oct" in Latin means "eight," and an octopus, of course, has eight legs. Plus, zoo personnel say in ancient Rome, "Octavius" was the name traditionally given to the eighth child.

The public has until noon on April 7th to cast votes online. The winning name will be announced that afternoon, via the Zoo's Octopus Cam."

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