Eight-Legged Bundles of Joy

From the octopus baby album. (photo by Shaara Ainsley)

One for the octopus baby album. (photo by Shaara Ainsley)

by Erin Loury, Ichthyology Lab

It’s a girl!  It’s a boy!  It’s 200 of each!

The MLML aquarium room was asqueal with coos and baby talk last week – and that was just from the fawning grad students.  The brooding efforts of a resident female octopus had paid off, and dozens of little eggs had become  dozens of oh-so-squishable baby octopuses.  Shaara Ainsley snapped this shot of the photogenic little tykes when they were a few days old.

Sadly, the babies didn’t survive too much longer after their photo-op, despite valiant efforts by student Erin Jensen to get them to eat.  It’s a marvel to think how something so seemingly vulnerable, drifting around in the plankton, stands a chance of ever becoming an adult in the ocean.

Here’s a rather low-quality video (sorry!) of the babies doing their bouncy thing (and Mom having none of it):

Now even if you don’t want to admit it, I know you’re dying to ask – where do baby octopuses come from?  Well, you see, when two octopuses really… actually it’s probably better that you learn more about octopus dating and mating by checking out this awesome UC Berkeley research, which includes work by Christine Huffard, now a post-doc at our neighbor, MBARI.

And if that puts you in the mood for more off-the-wall octo shenanigans, check out this crazy video of an octopus taking down a shark at The Other 95%, and the sideshow-worthy, 96-armed octopus at The Pink Tentacle!

This entry was posted in Cool Creatures, Research and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Eight-Legged Bundles of Joy

  1. Pingback: Happy Octopus Day from MLML: Eight-armed babies and fish octo-snacks « The Drop-In to Moss Landing Marine Labs

  2. Pingback: Happy Cephalopod Awareness Days! « The Drop-In to Moss Landing Marine Labs

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