Octopuses were known to be these cold and distant creatures that live independently, feed independently and die independently, without sharing fragments of “social life” with males or females of their kind. Some species even die after mating, becoming all-time heroes in the reckless course of nature. A newly discovered social behavior in octopuses has puzzled scientists who have analyzed in awe a never-before seen kind of ritual.
Usually, octopuses live alone until they feel the urge to find a mate, then they have sex a few times, literally at an arm’s length, as the males uses its spoon-like end of its third right arm to insert sperm into the female’s reproductive tract, and then they die. Females lay their eggs and then they die. Not a really fun and entertaining design for life, but for some species, it’s simply how it is.
Scientists have observed that against all odds, social behavior in octopuses is a reality. Large Pacific striped octopuses seemingly mate face to face, encouraging a more intimate interaction and maybe an exchange of feelings? Well, that could be possible in a world of stories, but in the science realm it remains a very revealing and particular piece of information which sheds more light on the diversity of wildlife and the varied behavior of octopus species. Pacific octopuses were seen to mate locked together, like they were involved in a long kiss, mingling in a mix of arms and suckers.
Moreover, males don’t die after mating, but are actually able to mate multiple times during a six to eight month mating cycle. And the peak of this story is that mating pairs were seen to be living together, sharing a single den and sharing food, a very lovey-dovey kind of behavior, never seen before in octopuses.
The Pacific species are highly unique, as this is the only octopus known to stalk its prey. Experts have compared it with a tiger moving through the grass and elegantly gazing at the future meal that innocently moves around in front of it. The octopus spots the prey, silently crawls towards it and then extends its long arm up and over it, by tapping it on the other side.
Predator routines and social behavior in octopuses have surprised scientists who have never seen a similar display of affection in the species before. Experts note that even if these kinds of behaviors haven’t been observed earliee, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are rare. There are more than 300 species of octopus and each year another new species bursts out from the underwater territories of oceans.
Image Source: thewatershedproject.org