A female octopus guards her eggs for 4.5 years and this vigil was closely followed by a team of scientists for more than 53 months.
The female octopus steadfastedly kept vigil on a single group of eggs. The eggs were laid on May 2007 and an underwater camera first took the image.
The female Octopus has been hailed as the most efficient and champion paernt who stedfastedly care of her eggs foe more than 4.5 years before the eggs hatched. It is also 4 times longer than the average age of an octopus. It is also one of the longest instances of brooding ever known in the animal world. Much much longer than elephants and emperor penguins included, according to a new study.
The findings have been published in the journal PLOS ONE. The findings also highlighted the fact that Octopuses which live deep under the sea could have a longer life span than its cousins who prefer to live in the close vicinity of the shores. This particular instance of parenting highlighted the extent to which parents go to evolve grueling strategies to make sure their offsprings can survive in such a hostile environment.
Researchers were first introduced to this amazing octomom in 2007 during a routine dive with a remotely operated vehicle, or ROV, in a deep underwater valley known as the Monterey Submarine Canyon.
ROV is used widely for deep sea mission and to study shy creatures of the deep like squid, boneless fishes, molluscs and jelly fishes which usually live closer to the surface. The researchers monuevered the underwater camera along a rocky outcrop 4,583 feet below the surface, where temperatures hover around 37 degrees Fahrenheit. The Octamom was first encountered by the researchers during one such dive. On returning 38 days later and saw the same octopus, this time guarding a clutch of eggs fixed to a near-vertical face of the ledge. Deep sea is often beyond the realms of normal research but this time they were able to observe the shy and elusive creature from brood till hatching over a period of 53 months. The research teams observed that the octopus never slackened her vigil and always covered her 160 eggs with her arms , even scaring away intruders who came too near for comfort.
Octopuses who lay just one clutch of eggs in their lifetime are usually understood to stop eating altogether, or eat very little, when brooding. But Octomom’s perseverance was extreme.