We all know the sad story of octopus sex, right? Females live a little longer to lay eggs, but die soon after they hatch. Turns out that the still officially unnamed Larger Pacific Striped Octopus breaks all the rules. We now know this because cephalopod experts from UC Berkeley, the California Academy of Sciences and the Monterey Bay Aquarium spent two years observing their behavior in captivity, confirming observations first made by Arcadio Rodaniche in the early s. Their results appear in PLoS One today. Let me count the ways.
The arm stores up the sperm, and when the male finds a female he wants to mate with, he will detach the arm during the mating process.
The female will store the hectocotylus in her cavity. Unfortunately for this sea-faring Casanova, the male is only able to copulate once. The female, however, is capable of mating several times over her lifespan.
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In fact, females have been found that have several hectocotylus in their pallial cavity at the same time! Eat your heart out Traci Lords! A juvenile octopus grows at a rapid rate, perhaps because of its short life span. By the end of its life, an octopus will weigh one-third as much as all the food it has eaten [source: The Economist ].
The common octopus only lives an average of three to five years, though, so it doesn't have much time to waste. Once the octopus reaches adulthood, it will eventually get the urge to mate. As with most creatures, the octopus's main purpose in life is to reproduce. However, if it knew just what was waiting for it soon after, it might think twice. Both the male and female octopuses die soon after mating. The male dies a few months afterward, while female dies shortly after the eggs hatch.
For octopuses, mating is a pretty subdued affair. They provide information on the position of the body relative to gravity and can detect angular acceleration. An autonomic response keeps the octopus's eyes oriented so that the pupil is always horizontal.
Octopuses also have an excellent sense of touch. The octopus's suction cups are equipped with chemoreceptors so the octopus can taste what it touches. Octopus arms do not become tangled or stuck to each other because the sensors recognise octopus skin and prevent self-attachment. The arms contain tension sensors so the octopus knows whether its arms are stretched out, but this is not sufficient for the brain to determine the position of the octopus's body or arms.
As a result, the octopus does not possess stereognosis ; that is, it does not form a mental image of the overall shape of the object it is handling. It can detect local texture variations, but cannot integrate the information into a larger picture.
The neurological autonomy of the arms means the octopus has great difficulty learning about the detailed effects of its motions.
It has a poor proprioceptive sense, and it knows what exact motions were made only by observing the arms visually. The ink sac of an octopus is located under the digestive gland. A gland attached to the sac produces the inkand the sac stores it. The sac is close enough to the funnel for the octopus to shoot out the ink with a water jet.
Before it leaves the funnel, the ink passes through glands which mix it with mucus, creating a thick, dark blob which allows the animal to escape from a predator. Octopuses are gonochoric and have a single, posteriorly-located gonad which is associated with the coelom.
The testis in males and the ovary in females bulges into the gonocoel and the gametes are released here. The gonocoel is connected by the gonoduct to the mantle cavitywhich it enters at the gonopore. The gland may be triggered by environmental conditions such as temperature, light and nutrition, which thus control the timing of reproduction and lifespan.
When octopuses reproduce, the male uses a specialised arm called a hectocotylus to transfer spermatophores packets of sperm from the terminal organ of the reproductive tract the cephalopod "penis" into the female's mantle cavity. In most species, fertilisation occurs in the mantle cavity. The reproduction of octopuses has been studied in only a few species. One such species is the giant Pacific octopusin which courtship is accompanied, especially in the male, by changes in skin texture and colour.
The male may cling to the top or side of the female or position himself beside her. There is some speculation that he may first use his hectocotylus to remove any spermatophore or sperm already present in the female. He picks up a spermatophore from his spermatophoric sac with the hectocotylus, inserts it into the female's mantle cavity, and deposits it in the correct location for the species, which in the giant Pacific octopus is the opening of the oviduct.
Two spermatophores are transferred in this way; these are about one metre yard long, and the empty ends may protrude from the female's mantle. About forty days after mating, the female giant Pacific octopus attaches strings of small fertilised eggs 10, to 70, in total to rocks in a crevice or under an overhang. Here she guards and cares for them for about five months days until they hatch.
Males become senescent and die a few weeks after mating. The eggs have large yolks; cleavage division is superficial and a germinal disc develops at the pole. During gastrulationthe margins of this grow down and surround the yolk, forming a yolk sac, which eventually forms part of the gut. The dorsal side of the disc grows upwards and forms the embryo, with a shell gland on its dorsal surface, gills, mantle and eyes. The arms and funnel develop as part of the foot on the ventral side of the disc.
The arms later migrate upwards, coming to form a ring around the funnel and mouth. The yolk is gradually absorbed as the embryo develops. Most young octopuses hatch as paralarvae and are planktonic for weeks to months, depending on the species and water temperature.
They feed on copepodsarthropod larvae and other zooplanktoneventually settling on the ocean floor and developing directly into adults with no distinct metamorphoses that are present in other groups of mollusc larvae. In the argonaut paper nautilusthe female secretes a fine, fluted, papery shell in which the eggs are deposited and in which she also resides while floating in mid-ocean.
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In this she broods the young, and it also serves as a buoyancy aid allowing her to adjust her depth. The male argonaut is minute by comparison and has no shell. Octopuses have a relatively short life expectancy ; some species live for as little as six months. The giant Pacific octopusone of the two largest species of octopus, may live for as much as five years. Octopus lifespan is limited by reproduction: males can live for only a few months after mating, and females die shortly after their eggs hatch.
The larger Pacific striped octopus is an exception, as it can reproduce multiple times over a life of around two years. Octopuses live in every ocean, and different species have adapted to different marine habitats. As juveniles, common octopuses inhabit shallow tide pools.
The Hawaiian day octopus Octopus cyanea lives on coral reefs; argonauts drift in pelagic waters.
Abdopus aculeatus mostly lives in near-shore seagrass beds. Some species are adapted to the cold, ocean depths. Most species are solitary when not mating,  though a few are known to occur in high densities and with frequent interactions, signaling, mate defending and eviction of individuals from dens.
This is likely the result of abundant food supplies combined with limited den sites. Octopuses are not territorial but generally remain in a home range; they may leave the area in search of food.
They can use navigation skills to return to a den without having to retrace their outward route. Octopuses bring captured prey back to the den where they can eat it safely. Sometimes the octopus catches more prey than it can eat, and the den is often surrounded by a midden of dead and uneaten food items.
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Other creatures, such as fish, crabsmolluscs and echinodermsoften share the den with the octopus, either because they have arrived as scavengersor because they have survived capture. Nearly all octopuses are predatory; bottom-dwelling octopuses eat mainly crustaceanspolychaete wormsand other molluscs such as whelks and clams ; open-ocean octopuses eat mainly prawns, fish and other cephalopods. Prey that it is likely to reject include moon snails because they are too large and limpetsrock scallopschitons and abalonebecause they are too securely fixed to the rock.
A benthic bottom-dwelling octopus typically moves among the rocks and feels through the crevices. The creature may make a jet-propelled pounce on prey and pull it towards the mouth with its arms, the suckers restraining it.
Small prey may be completely trapped by the webbed structure. Octopuses usually inject crustaceans like crabs with a paralysing saliva then dismember them with their beaks. It takes about three hours for O. Once the shell is penetrated, the prey dies almost instantaneously, its muscles relax, and the soft tissues are easy for the octopus to remove. Crabs may also be treated in this way; tough-shelled species are more likely to be drilled, and soft-shelled crabs are torn apart.
Some species have other modes of feeding. Grimpoteuthis has a reduced or non-existent radula and swallows prey whole. Octopuses mainly move about by relatively slow crawling with some swimming in a head-first position. Jet propulsion or backwards swimming, is their fastest means of locomotion, followed by swimming and crawling.
Several arms are extended forwards, some of the suckers adhere to the substrate and the animal hauls itself forwards with its powerful arm muscles, while other arms may push rather than pull. As progress is made, other arms move ahead to repeat these actions and the original suckers detach.
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During crawling, the heart rate nearly doubles, and the animal requires ten or fifteen minutes to recover from relatively minor exercise. Most octopuses swim by expelling a jet of water from the mantle through the siphon into the sea.
The physical principle behind this is that the force required to accelerate the water through the orifice produces a reaction that propels the octopus in the opposite direction.
When swimming, the head is at the front and the siphon is pointed backwards, but when jetting, the visceral hump leads, the siphon points towards the head and the arms trail behind, with the animal presenting a fusiform appearance. In an alternative method of swimming, some species flatten themselves dorso-ventrally, and swim with the arms held out sideways, and this may provide lift and be faster than normal swimming.
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Jetting is used to escape from danger, but is physiologically inefficient, requiring a mantle pressure so high as to stop the heart from beating, resulting in a progressive oxygen deficit. Cirrate octopuses cannot produce jet propulsion and rely on their fins for swimming. They have neutral buoyancy and drift through the water with the fins extended. They can also contract their arms and surrounding web to make sudden moves known as "take-offs".
Another form of locomotion is "pumping", which involves symmetrical contractions of muscles in their webs producing peristaltic waves. This moves the body slowly. InAdopus aculeatus and veined octopus Amphioctopus marginatus were found to walk on two arms, while at the same time mimicking plant matter. The octopus carries the shells underneath it with two arms, and progresses with an ungainly gait supported by its remaining arms held rigid.
Octopuses are highly intelligent ; the extent of their intelligence and learning capability are not well defined. It is not known precisely what contribution learning makes to adult octopus behaviour. Young octopuses learn nothing from their parents, as adults provide no parental care beyond tending to their eggs until the young octopuses hatch. In laboratory experiments, octopuses can be readily trained to distinguish between different shapes and patterns.
They have been reported to practise observational learning although the validity of these findings is contested.
Nov 30, The largest octopus in the world is the Pacific octopus, Enteroctopus defleini. It weighs up to 33 lbs (15kg) and has an arm span of up to 14 ft ( m). It also has three hearts and nine brains.  The smallest octopus species is Octopus wolfi, which is about 1 inch ( cm) and weighs less than oz (1 g). . 3. Octopus are often solitary, but the female Larger Pacific Striped Octopus sometimes shared her den with the male she was mating with. The two would share food beak-to-beak and mate every day. Octopus Giving is our way of helping charities - not just with money, but with something even more valuable: our time. Octopus Giving. The Choir With No Name. The Choir With No Name runs choirs for homeless and marginalised people in Birmingham, Liverpool and London. FoodCycle.
Octopuses use camouflage when hunting and to avoid predators. To do this they use specialised skin cells which change the appearance of the skin by adjusting its colour, opacity, or reflectivity. Chromatophores contain yellow, orange, red, brown, or black pigments; most species have three of these colours, while some have two or four.
Other colour-changing cells are reflective iridophores and white leucophores. Octopuses can create distracting patterns with waves of dark coloration across the body, a display known as the "passing cloud".
Muscles in the skin change the texture of the mantle to achieve greater camouflage. In some species, the mantle can take on the spiky appearance of algae; in others, skin anatomy is limited to relatively uniform shades of one colour with limited skin texture. Octopuses that are diurnal and live in shallow water have evolved more complex skin than their nocturnal and deep-sea counterparts.
A "moving rock" trick involves the octopus mimicking a rock and then inching across the open space with a speed matching the movement in the surrounding water, allowing it to move in plain sight of a predator. Aside from humans, octopuses may be preyed on by fishes, seabirdssea otterspinnipedscetaceansand other cephalopods. When the octopus is approached, it may extend an arm to investigate.
Once they have been seen by a predator, they commonly try to escape but can also use distraction with an ink cloud ejected from the ink sac. The ink is thought to reduce the efficiency of olfactory organs, which would aid evasion from predators that employ smell for hunting, such as sharks.
Ink clouds of some species might act as pseudomorphsor decoys that the predator attacks instead. When under attack, some octopuses can perform arm autotomyin a manner similar to the way skinks and other lizards detach their tails. The crawling arm may distract would-be predators. Such severed arms remain sensitive to stimuli and move away from unpleasant sensations. Some octopuses, such as the mimic octopuscan combine their highly flexible bodies with their colour-changing ability to mimic other, more dangerous animals, such as lionfishsea snakes, and eels.
The diseases and parasites that affect octopuses have been little studied, but cephalopods are known to be the intermediate or final hosts of various parasitic cestodesnematodes and copepods; species of protistan and metazoan parasites have been recognised. Octopuses have an innate immune systemand the haemocytes respond to infection by phagocytosisencapsulation, infiltration or cytotoxic activities to destroy or isolate the pathogens.
The haemocytes play an important role in the recognition and elimination of foreign bodies and wound repair.
Mar 06, The common octopus ranges in size from about 12 inches to 36 inches. They weigh anywhere from pounds and generally lives only about a year or two in the wild. The Giant Octopus, "Enteroctopus dofleini," is much more frightening. It can range in size from feet and weigh up to . The octopus (plural octopuses) is a soft-bodied, eight-limbed mollusc of the order Octopoda (/ ? k ? t ? p ? d ? /, ok-TO-p?-d?).Around species are recognised, and the order is grouped within the class Cephalopoda with squids, cuttlefish, and thatliz.com other cephalopods, the octopus is bilaterally symmetric with two eyes and a beak, with its mouth at the center point of the Class: Cephalopoda. Octopus mating is a one-time thing for just about all of the species. The males often die within a couple of months just after they finally have found a mate. The females often die shortly after they are able to lay their eggs. This is a very peculiar pattern of life and death for these creatures that researchers continue to .
Captive animals have been found to be more susceptible to pathogens than wild ones. The scientific name Octopoda was first coined and given as the order of octopuses in by English biologist William Elford Leachwho classified them as Octopoida the previous year.
Cephalopods have existed for million years and octopus ancestors were in the Carboniferous seas million years ago. The oldest known octopus fossil is Pohlsepiawhich lived million years ago. Researchers have identified impressions of eight arms, two eyes, and possibly an ink sac. Octopuses, squids and cuttlefish belong to the clade Coleoidea. They are known as "soft-bodied" cephalopods, lacking the external shell of most molluscs and other cephalopods like the nautiloids and the extinct Ammonoidea.
The cladograms are based on Sanchez et al. Squids and cuttlefish. The molecular analysis of the octopods shows that the suborder Cirrina Cirromorphida and the superfamily Argonautoidea are paraphyletic and are broken up; these names are shown in quotation marks and italics on the cladogram.
Octopuses and other coleoid cephalopods are capable of greater RNA editing which involves changes to the nucleic acid sequence of the primary transcript of RNA molecules than any other organisms. Editing is concentrated in the nervous system and affects proteins involved in neural excitability and neuronal morphology.
Both the structures and editing sites are conserved in the coleoid genome and the mutation rates for the sites are severely hampered. Hence, greater transcriptome plasticity has come at the cost of slower genome evolution. High levels of RNA editing do not appear to be present in more basal cephalopods or other molluscs. Ancient seafaring people were aware of the octopus, as evidenced by certain artworks and designs.
For example, a stone carving found in the archaeological recovery from Bronze Age Minoan Crete at Knossos - BC has a depiction of a fisherman carrying an octopus. Linnaeus included it in the first edition of his Systema Naturae. A battle with an octopus plays a significant role in Victor Hugo 's book Travailleurs de la mer Toilers of the Searelating to his time in exile on Guernsey.
Japanese erotic art, shungaincludes ukiyo-e woodblock prints such as Katsushika Hokusai 's print Tako to ama The Dream of the Fisherman's Wifein which an ama diver is sexually intertwined with a large and a small octopus. Myers noted in his science blog, Pharyngulathat octopuses appear in "extraordinary" graphic illustrations involving women, tentacles, and bare breasts.
Since it has numerous arms emanating from a common centre, the octopus is often used as a symbol for a powerful and manipulative organisation. Octopuses generally avoid humans, but incidents have been verified. For example, a 2. Another diver recorded the encounter on video. All species are venomous, but only blue-ringed octopuses have venom that is lethal to humans.
They bite only when provoked or accidentally stepped upon; bites are small and usually painless. The venom appears to be able to penetrate the skin without a puncture, given prolonged contact. It contains tetrodotoxinwhich causes paralysis by blocking the transmission of nerve impulses to the muscles.
This causes death by respiratory failure leading to cerebral anoxia. No antidote is known, but if breathing can be kept going artificially, patients recover within 24 hours.
Octopus fisheries exist around the world with total catches varying betweenan metric tons from to