NOV 07, 2018 06:35 PM PST

Experts Thought This Octopus Was a Male, and it Just Had Thousands of Babies

Caretakers for what was initially thought to be a ‘male’ octopus named Octavian at the University of Georgia’s Marine Education Center and Aquarium were in for quite a surprise this week when the creature’s tank was suddenly teeming with what appeared to be many bits of white confetti.

Octavian, pictured above, was thought to be a male, but turned out to be a female.

Image Credit: Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant

Upon closer examination, aquarium curator Devin Dumont realized that these weren’t bits of confetti, but rather a clutch of baby octopi. Estimates suggest there were up to 10,000 individual babies swimming around in the tank.

“I noticed this cloud of moving dots and I realized, ‘Oh my God, she had babies. There are babies. There are babies everywhere,’” Dumont said in a statement to local news outlet Savannah Now.

“And a sort of panic ensued. I immediately started scooping them out and putting them in buckets and there were just buckets and buckets and buckets full of tiny octopi.”

Related: Octopuses change color when they are feeling aggressive

As it would seem, Dumont was preparing to clean the animal’s tank when he happened upon the astonishing circumstances. He quickly grabbed buckets and started removing the baby octopi from the tank for safe keeping throughout the tank-cleaning procedure.

In the video footage below, you can see the baby octopi moving around under a microscope:

The aquarium’s staff are just now coming to grips with the idea that Octavian was a female. It was undoubtedly a mistake made while attempting to identify the animal’s sex before acceptance, but there’s something else too…

Female octopuses are known to die shortly after giving birth, which means the aquarium will soon lose its favorite eight-tentacled attraction. The mother sticks around just long enough to guard her young before meeting an early demise.

Fortunately, the aquarium’s staff will be taking great care of Octavian’s plethora of offspring. Some will be kept for captivity, but the rest will be released in Skidaway River where they can start a meaningful new life in the wild.

Source: Savannah Now

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
AUG 24, 2018
Earth & The Environment
AUG 24, 2018
Zookeeper tricks panda mama into caring for her twins
  These baby pandas are only 18 days old and the fact that they're both alive right now is likely only due to the ingenuity and dedication of this...
SEP 17, 2018
Plants & Animals
SEP 17, 2018
Researchers Quantify How Much Ingested Plastic it Takes to Down a Sea Turtle
Oceanic plastic pollution has developed into a significant issue in recent years. Not only does it dirty up our planet, but it imposes a serious risk to ma...
OCT 03, 2018
Genetics & Genomics
OCT 03, 2018
Groundcherries May be Coming Soon to a Market Near You
You may not have heard of the groundcherry, but scientists are eager to get people to try the newly-modified exotic fruit....
OCT 03, 2018
Plants & Animals
OCT 03, 2018
Urban Blue Tits Lay Larger Eggs Than Their Forest-Dwelling Counterparts
Curious researchers from the University of Lodz wanted to know if there were any substantial differences between eggs laid by city-dwelling blue tits and t...
OCT 29, 2018
Plants & Animals
OCT 29, 2018
New Evidence for Climate Change-Driven Extinction in Tropical Birds
Climate change is having a profound impact on global animal populations, and as the results of a study published this week in the journal Proceedings of th...
NOV 14, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 14, 2018
Here's What Happens When a Fly Lands on Your Food
If you’re like me, then you probably hate it when flies land on your food. But why is it such a big deal anyway? When flies land on your food, it&rsq...
Loading Comments...