But the last days of a female octopus after breeding are rather gloomy, at least for human eyes. Octopuses are semelparous animals, which means they reproduce once and then die. After a female octopus lays a clutch of eggs, it stops eating and goes to waste; by the time the eggs hatch, she dies. In the later stages, some captive females even seem to intentionally accelerate along the death spiral, hitting the sides of the tank, tearing off pieces of skin, or eating the tips of their own tentacles.
If you're wondering, males don't get off easier. Females often kill and eat their partners; if not, they also die a few months later). A female can store sperm in her mantle until she is ready to fertilize and lay her eggs. A female can lay hundreds of thousands of eggs, which she anchors to a hard surface in a protected den.
After laying eggs, she spends the rest of her life caring for them. She will protect the eggs and keep the water circulating around them so that the developing offspring receive enough oxygen. The mother stops eating after her eggs are laid, and will die soon after they hatch. Newborn octopus are called larvae and turn into offspring or fry.
Newborn octopuses, although small, are independent and do not require further maternal care. Survival in the ocean is often a matter of luck, and very few of these pups will survive to adulthood, so many eggs are laid to begin with. It's a fascinating exhibit and raises questions about how octopuses are born and why they turn brown. Octopuses offer many possibilities in biological research, including their ability to regenerate limbs, change skin color, behave intelligently with a distributed nervous system, and make use of 168 types of protocadherins (humans have 5, the proteins that guide the connections that neurons make with each other.
Because the female octopus keeps her eggs continuously for many months without hunting or feeding, she usually dies after her babies begin to hatch. For example, a 2.4 meter (8 foot) Pacific octopus, said to be almost perfectly camouflaged, threw itself at a diver and fought over its camera before it broke loose. Another reason could be that the octopus was trying to camouflage itself against the dark table below it. Octopuses inhabit several regions of the ocean, including coral reefs, pelagic waters and the seabed; some live in the intertidal zone and others in abyssal depths.
It's not unusual for newborn octopuses to change color because the stress of hatching can cause their chromatophores, cells that contain pigments, to skyrocket. Now, more than a year later, tiny pups known as paralarves have begun to emerge, and baby octopuses captivate visitors and staff. The reproductive organs of the octopus mature due to the hormonal influence of the optic gland, but cause the inactivation of its digestive glands. One of these species is the giant Pacific octopus, in which courtship is accompanied, especially in the male, by changes in the texture and color of the skin.
After being cared for by their mother for almost a year, thousands of giant Pacific octopus eggs begin to hatch at the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC). Research shows that the octopus can even decide which particular animal to imitate depending on the predator. Octopuses are gonochoric and have a single gonad located in the posterior part that is associated with coeloma. Octopuses have three hearts; a systemic or main heart that circulates blood through the body and two gill or gill hearts that pump it through each of the two gills.
Wang, who has made pets of some of the octopuses in the laboratory, said: “It's worrying to even witness this in the laboratory, because from a human perspective they seem to self-mutilate. .