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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Day 92: Ta da!

Can you believe it?  After ninety-two days of taking care of her eggs, the female Red Octopus is finally getting to see her little ones hatch!  We actually saw a few early individuals hatch on Day 90 and Day 91, but thousands of individuals emerged today on Day 92.

These tiny octopus are very active swimmers and I must say were one of the most challenging animals I've ever tried to photograph.  But after lots of failed attempts, I ended up with a few decent images under the microscope.  Here are some nice examples of these wonderful octopus a few hours after hatching!

A rare view from the side:

And a close-up showing the small but well-developed suckers at the base of the arms:

Are you wondering just how small these octopus hatchlings are?  Eric helped me with a short video clip to visualize their size.  In the video, those are millimeter marks on the ruler below the octopus.  (Video quality will be best with the smaller screen.)


The octopus are ~3.5 mm long when fully extended.  That's much smaller than a grain of rice!


Alice Cahn said...

This is absolutely amazing to see, Jackie. Thank you so much for continuing to give us these updates, and particularly for this fascinating video. (Looks like those little guys are swimming on an underwater piano keyboard!)

Claudia said...

In the still images, I was struck by how other wordly they looked. Kind of skeletal.

In the video, they were suddenly transformed into cute and cuddly. Spontaneous laughter.

Anonymous said...

Amazing photos and video, Jackie! Glad to have been able to follow Olive's story, and that you were both around for day 92 :) -Olivia

Leth Benz said...


While watching the video I had The Way You Move by OutKast playing in the background - couldn't have been more perfect for watching those lil babies dance their lil chromatophores off.

Megan Sheridan said...

Thank you Jackie!

Anonymous said...

WOW. What a beautiful story. I think it should be posted on the MB Aquarium site or something. These pictures, from laying to hatching, are incredible and a wonderful teaching tool. It makes me appreciate even more the amazing life of the Octopus! I'd love to dress Leven up as a baby octo for Halloween. -AH

Amy said...

So cool! Do you have a picture with/of mama octopus?