An octopus is a soft-bodied mollusk with eight limbs. They are classified under the order Octopoda. There are about 300 species grouped within the class Cephalopoda this also includes cuttlefish and squid. Octopuses are quite fascinating creatures, but did you know some of the male species have a peculiar way of copulating with the females?
Some male octopuses build dens next to female octopus dens. They copulate by stretching the mating arm from one den to the other.
What are Cephalopods?
Cephalopods are any member of the phylum Mollusca’s class Cephalopoda. They are a small group of highly evolved and organized, exclusively marine organisms. Representatives include the octopus, squid, cuttlefish, and chambered Nautilus. Extinct forms outweigh extant forms, with the class achieving tremendous diversity in the late Paleozoic and Mesozoic periods.
Except for five surviving species of nautilus, ammonites, belemnites, nautiloids are extinct. (Source: Britannica)
What is an Octopus?
Octopuses have spherical bodies, bulging eyes, and eight lengthy arms and are chevaliers of the water. They can be found in all of the world’s oceans but thrive in warm, tropical environments.
Octopuses, like their cousin the squid, are commonly referred to as deep-sea monsters, although some species, or kinds, live in very shallow seas. (Source: National Geographic Kids)
How Do Octopuses Reproduce?
Octopuses are solitary creatures by nature. When they do come into contact, it’s usually over mates, opportunistic copulation, and cannibalism.
On their suckers, octopuses have thousands of chemoreceptors that they can utilize to touch and taste each other before copulating. When you consider how many octopuses are cannibalistic, this sounds lovely.
Some octopus species have dens on the seafloor, where males and females live side by side. This enables them to copulate with their neighbors over and over again. Some of these octopuses can mate without ever leaving their den. Males establish dens near females and give sperm packets to them with their lengthy mating arms. This could protect men from being attacked or devoured.
Females approach males in at least three octopus species to initiate mating. Female octopuses guard and clean their eggs after laying them on a rock or in strings that they nurture in their arms. At least one deep-sea octopus was spotted guarding her eggs for more than four years, which is the longest period of any animal. (Source: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)
How Many Hearts Does an Octopus Have?
Three hearts make into an octopus. According to the World Animal Foundation, one pumps blood through its organs, while the other pumps blood through its gills. Octopus blood is blue because it contains hemocyanin, a copper-based protein.
The organ that distributes blood to the octopus’s organs stops pulsing as it swims. According to the Smithsonian article, this exhausts the octopus, which is why they prefer to crawl rather than swim. (Source: Live Science)