NOV 07, 2018 6:35 PM PST

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

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

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
MAR 22, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAR 22, 2020
Narwhals With Larger Tusks Have a Better Chance of Finding a Mate
Narwhals are often referred to as the ‘unicorns of the sea’ because of the unicorn-esque tusks they grow on ...
MAR 29, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAR 29, 2020
Evolution of Snake Venom Attributed to Prey, Not Self-Defense
When snakes feel threatened, they may lash out at the aggressor with a painful bite out of self-defense. In some cases, ...
MAR 30, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAR 30, 2020
Packs of Humboldt Squid Rise From the Deep to Feed
Deep-sea dwellers are among some of the most intriguing marine creatures in the world, partly because it isn’t ver ...
MAY 03, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAY 03, 2020
Some Snakes Only Use Venomous Bites as a Last Resort
Snakes have a bad rap with people because so many species are known to bite when disturbed. An even smaller subset of sn ...
MAY 18, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAY 18, 2020
Sharks Actually Fear Dolphins, and Here's Why
Sharks are often viewed as one of the ocean’s top apex predators, but despite this rather prestigious classificati ...
MAY 24, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAY 24, 2020
The Pistol Shrimp's Secret Weapon...
Pistol shrimp have a unique reputation as one of the ocean’s most intriguing crustaceans. Most are only about the ...
Loading Comments...