The University of Georgia Aquarium and Marine Education Center purchased a octopus whom they called Octavius. Everything was going well with the marine animal, which lived in its own fish tank, until one day the unthinkable happened: Octavius had 10,000 offspring. In this way, the scientists discovered that the octopus was not male but female … and that very soon she would die.
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In 2018, before having her 10,000 babies, Octavius’s behavior changed dramaticallyFrom being a sociable octopus that constantly swam and explored every corner of his fish tank, he went on to hide in his cave for much of the day. In this video from the University of Georgia you can see the “normal” behavior of the cephalopod:
The curator of the aquarium, Devin Dumont, says it was one day in October when he set out to clean Octavius’s fish tank and found thousands of microscopic particles floating in the water. Sexual dimorphism in octopuses is less obvious, so it is understandable that Octavius’s keepers mistook her for a male until she gave birth. This, unfortunately, was not just an indicator that the octopus was female: it was also a sign that Octavius it was nearing its end.
Unlike male octopuses, which die shortly after mating, females do so after having young: they dedicate all their available energy to protect the babies from potential predators, so they They stop eating until your body stops working.
As for the Octavius octopus hatchlings, some were released into a nearby estuary, others were placed in an aquarium fish tank and others were taken to a laboratory research. In this video, Dumont examines some of the pups under the microscope (because nature can be cruel, but also adorable):