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Rare type of squid washed upon De Panne beach

A rare species of squid was washed ashore in the coastal resort of Koksijde on Friday. The species in question was a curled octopus (Eledone cirrhosa). The animal could be saved and was released this morning. 

The adult male  was found on the beach on the edge of De Panne and Sint-Idesbald. It was about 60 centimetres long, and it's only the fourth time that it has been found on Belgian beaches. The curled octopus normally lives in the Mediterranean or along the European shores of the Atlantic. Normally, it doesn't come to the North Sea, but warm sea water may have driven it to Belgian waters. 

The curled octopus only has 8 arms, contrary to the cuttlefish or the squid, which have their habitat in the North Sea and boast 10 arms. It eats crustaceans such as crabs.

When it was found, it was put in a small container filled with sea water and with a bucket inside as it likes to stay in cavities. "The animal was still alive, and we released it 2 sea miles off the Ostend coast, where the water is deeper. Then it has a better chance to survive", says Emmanuel Demey  of the provincial visitor centre Duinpanne in De Panne.    

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