So how would an ROV benefit citizen science?

Well, many of the amazing observations that the wonderful citizen scientists are providing need investigating. One of the downsides to citizen science s that many of the observations are one- offs, but good science needs many observations and the ability to test hypotheses based on observations. We would use an ROV to investigate what is being shared. For example, in the last two years, we have 3 very exciting observations of a particular species of octopus that went extinct in UK waters in the 1960's... Octopus vulgaris is a cosmopolitan species that has a global distribution, although it is likely that a few, or even many, subspecies will exist. In Europe, we see them throughout the Meditteranean Sea and down the eastern Atlantic coast off Portugal, Spain, and France. That is more or less their northern distribution ends...or it did. The images below show us that they are back in their northern limit in the English Channel. The really exciting this is the octopuses caught on film are huge! The cooler the waters, the later a cephalopod will become sexually mature, but they will still keep growing. So, the big octopuses we see seeing appear to have have been born in the UK's cooler waters. This is a big step towards there long term future as it means they are not arriving through migration ut already here and breeding!

Originally posted on National Geographic Open Explorer to cephalopodcitsci.

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