Darla's pregnancy puzzles octopus experts - Victoria Times Colonist

Discussion in 'The Octopus' Den' started by octobot, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. octobot

    octobot Robotic Staff Staff Member Robotic Staff

    Oct 15, 2005
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    Darla's pregnancy puzzles octopus experts
    [SIZE=-1]Victoria Times Colonist[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]An egg sack from the 30000 to 40000 eggs produced by Darla the giant Pacific octopus at the Shaw Ocean Discover Centre in Sidney. When Darla failed to produce babies it was assumed she would ...[/SIZE]

  2. mucktopus

    mucktopus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

    Dec 31, 2003
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    Very interesting. It's also possible that she had mated so long ago (either with one or several males) that most of the sperm died during storage save just a few. Definitely an interesting observation when considering why females may delay mating, or increase the number of males with which they mate.
  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Sep 4, 2006
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    Gainesville, GA USA
    The sperm die-off theory seems most logical to me. We saw the same thing with our first Octopus, Trapper (O.mercatoris). She was with us 4 months before brooding and only produced 6 hatchlings. Five survived and the sixth might have had it not crawled out of the water. We kept two males and a female together from that brood and at least one male mated with his sibbling and produced a guestimated 50 offspring (they would not stay in the breeder net so we did not know if we were catching new or recatching already counted).

    I wish they would quit saying they die because they quit eating. I have to keep explaining to my boss that they quit eating because they are dieing of old age and physical changes and then someone else prints the same statement and he insists it is the other way around. At least he got to see a senescent male on NatGeo (where the repeat the reason for death as being starvation) so he knows they change as they age.

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