I am convinced something inside the octopuses stops functioning when they stop eating and the liver plays a direct digestion role with them. The suggestion of liver failure in the whale makes me wonder if we are looking at the right organs for the cause of the empty stomachs in the whales and the starving deaths of octopuses.
Oh, I thought the article was implying that the whales died of renal failure resulting from the heavy parasite load. But, couldn't the empty stomachs be a side effect of the hormones that signal for the death of the animal. As in, the apoptosis like hormones deregulate hunger hormones as ingestion and digestion is a waste of energy if the body switching from growth and survival mode into shutdown mode.
Certainly the parasite infestation is what the article suspects as the reason for death and I did not mean to imply otherwise it just got me thinking (yet again) about what could be happening that we have not identified with octopuses and that maybe the empty stomachs of all the whales Steve investigates. The liver in octopuses (as my uneducated understanding permits translation) functions differently than our own (and I know absolutely nothing about whales) and actually secretes digestive chemicals directly into the stomach. This has me wondering if the studies that cannot find why the octopuses just stop eating have looked into or can identify liver failure.