Bimacs living over two years

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Nancy, Oct 30, 2006.

  1. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    A couple of weeks ago alexfevery mentioned very long lived bimacs at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, California. I thought this was worth following up and this is what I learned from the aquarist who takes care of their bimac and other sea creatures on exhibit.

    The current bimac (captured while very young by the aquarist herself) has been in captivity for well over two years. The one before it also lived over two years (they don't seem to keep exact records). These two are the only ones the aquarist is familiar with because she's only been there 3 years.

    Their bimac is kept under excellent conditions: a 200 gallon tank, lots of good food (fresh and frozen including shrimp, squid, mackrel, herring, krill, large prawns (live), and the occasional crab (live). Also, it has enrichment such as legos and jars to open.

    The water is kept at 59 degrees (perhaps the secret of longevity) and is part of a large 16,000 gallon flow-through system, drawing salt water from the ocean and filtering it well through systems that include sand beds, ozone, and the equivalent of protein skimmers.

    This long lifespan for a bimac surprised me because 1 1/2 years was the longest that I'd come across. It's good news and something to aim for!

    Nancy
     
  2. Spracklcat

    Spracklcat Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    After getting completely hooked on the idea of a cephalopod tank, I had a long conversation with Anthony Calfo about octopus he has kept (vulgaris), and he said exactly the same thing--by keeping them at a lower temperature that what is commonly recommended he routinely had them for more than 3 years.

    Christine
     
  3. Illithid

    Illithid Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Tampa Aquarium has found that S. Officianalis (common cuttlefish)kept at lower temperatures live longer. The colder the water the longer they lived - up to 2 1/2 years.

    This would NOT be the same for tropical species.
     
  4. cthulhu77

    cthulhu77 Titanites Supporter

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    Fantastic news for those of us who have chillers, it may be a new piece of necessary kit for bimac keeping. Too bad their records are in such a state, perhaps one of the other institutions could begin some work and detail it out.
    Great news !

    Greg
     
  5. alien4fish

    alien4fish O. vulgaris Registered

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    Hi nancy, if could chime in on this as well at scripps birch institute here in La Jolla Ca.they had what they believed to be a bimac species as well, that had surrvived over 2 years!and I have no idea what size tank he was in( i would guess2-300 gal)and as far as i know with exception of a few domino damsels he was alone in his den, just an awsome animal to watch, however I did observe that the poor fellow did look rather bored:bugout: and that was just about a year ago and when we went back to see him he was no longer in the same tank. So we dont know if he died or maybe they switched him to a diff. tank. The filtration sys. sounds the same as well as the water temp. Now,.... at the end of the pier where the water is drawn in from there is deeep canyon that that the scripps birch filters brings in the sea water and tripple filters itbefore it gets pumped up to the main tanks at the institute, now threason that i bring this up is because there is a spigot at the of that pier that hobyists are permitted to fill jugs barrles etc.wich is what i use in my tanks(NSW) INSTEAD OF SYNTHETIC it just works better for salinity is allways right ph etc.
    the only catch is NOT fill up AFTER a rain storm (to much run off) hence algea blooms or worse anyway ..............................:coffee:
     
  6. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    I wonder if we should expect any behavioral differences at this cold temperature: essentially by keeping the animal at its coldest winter temperature all year round we're slowing its metabolism.
     
  7. Brock Fluharty

    Brock Fluharty Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    Which, in turn, would make it much less active, and probably more secretive. We would have to think about wether the temptation of having an active, social octopus outweighs the longer life. Not sure if it would for me...but then again, why should we go and shorten their lives if there is anything we could possibly do to lengthen them?
     
  8. Feelers

    Feelers Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    I'll be running my tank cold, 54-60F but I'll have to look at some good insulation. I spose way down the track when it's all going I'll have a play around and see how the octopus reacts to different temps. Feeding less is also a quite considerable benefit of cooler temps. Hopefully there is a happy medium between activity and long life.
     
  9. OB

    OB Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Maybe that's part of the secret, for instance underfeeding (calorie restriction) certain rodents increases their life expectancy by 40%; perhaps the same holds true for cephs. What about GPO's? They (one gender anyway) appear to make it to 3 years in the wild, or so I've been told. Another cold water species.
     
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  10. Illithid

    Illithid Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    That is really interesting! I am going to read more on that.

    Tampa Aquarium did also state that the Cuttles did slow down and were less active and less interactive. That would probably correlate to being more secretive in octos.
     
  11. main_board

    main_board Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Ha! Just talked about this in my Evolution class (currently discussing why we age/why genes that increase lifespan aren't fixed in populations). Interesting stuff indeed!

    Cheers!
     
  12. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    A professor I had (John Allman) had a lot of interesting thought on this, particularly in primates... in particular, he put forth the interesting (but possibly not confirmed) theory that there is actually an evolutionary pressure for most, but not all, humans to die off when they're past prime working/reproducing age, so that a small number of old people are part of the tribe to remember the lessons learned over a long time, but not enough to be a burden on the resources of the tribe, since they're not able to contribute to hunting/gathering/farming/childrearing very much. Of course, modern lifestyles and medical stuff changes a lot of that, but I thought it was interesting that we normally think of failing health in old age as being that we're somehow flawed, rather than considering the possibility that that was actually an evolutionary "good thing" for survival of our genes in our offspring.
     
  13. marineboy

    marineboy Wonderpus Registered

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    alien4fish, i love scripps aquarium and I know where the bimac is now since I was there recently.

    They have switche dhim into the tidepool exhibit and have a show at around 3:00pm everyday (im not sure on this but when I went it was on the plan) where they feed him.

    he is very pretty!
     
  14. main_board

    main_board Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Interesting indeed. What our prof has mainly discussed is that there are alleles in every natural population that do promote long life. However, there exists a tradeoff between longevity and reproductive success. The longer an organism lives, the less offspring are left; the shorter the lifespan, the more offspring are left. Its just the way the alleles and genes are set out. Thus there is slightly more selection towards a shorter life span for more offspring and more genes left behind. Invariably, though, some individuals do displace the other allele for long life, and this can be bred in a captive population so everyone lives long. Something I was thinking on my walk home from class today was what if instead of all this plastic surgrey, anti-aging skin care products, chemical peels, etc., why didn't we just encourage our own imbedded longevity genes? Now granted not every one has them and thus this could imply gene therapy which not everyone is for. However, the idea did strike me as worthy of some thought.

    Cheers!
     
  15. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    I've heard some biologists talk about theories (I think these are both unproven) that some age related problems are caused by the telomeres getting chopped off at each cell division, and also the fact that mitochondra don't have the same genetic repair systems that nuclear DNA has, so mitochondrial DNA decays. I'm kinda skeptical, particularly about he mitochondria (since I've never heard an answer on why we wouldn't then inherit DNA-degraded DNA from our mothers) but those both also sound like they'd be more helpful to address than cosmetic surgery and the like.
     
  16. sorseress

    sorseress Colossal Squid Supporter

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    The fewer offspring would be a good idea too.
     
  17. main_board

    main_board Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Yeah, that's what really struck me during my walk. Most of us in the developed world who are looking at these anti-aging treatments are also some of the worlds lowest offspring producers. Why not combine the two into an elegant solution. And monty, the mitochondria theory reminds me of an ad thats been running in National Geographic recently. It's for a suppliment for "rejuvenates" mitochondria, resulting in more vitality and higher energy levels. They have some great before and after cartoons of mitochondria.

    Cheers!
     
  18. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    Random free association: I remember first hearing about (a fanciful version of) mitochondria in Madeline L'Engle's children's sci-fi book A Wind in the Door (sequel to A Wrinkle in Time) I still re-read a lot of her books every few years...
     

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