Octopi or Octopuses?

Westminster, Colo. – Even after logging hundreds of dives, it is pretty rare to get an up-close look at an octopus mother and her eggs. Right now at Butterfly Pavilion, you can see a Caribbean Reef Octopus with her eggs. We have named her Big Mama. She came to Butterfly Pavilion from the Caribbean at the beginning of February. The eggs are likely fertilized since the mating season for this species is January. In addition, mother Octopuses will hold their fertilized eggs up to 100 days while searching for a suitable spot to lay them. Big Mama laid her eggs shortly after arriving at Butterfly Pavilion, and her and her eggs (which are attached to the top of her cave) are very easy to see in our WaterÕs Edge exhibit.

Big Mama spends all of her time pumping water over her eggs to keep them clean and oxygenated. She also uses her tentacles to protect them and gently sway them back and forth. The gestation period is 50-80 days, so we expect the eggs to hatch in May. This is a rare thing to see in Colorado, and it is very inspirational to see this “Ultimate Mother Sacrifice,” since like all octopuses, Big Mama has stopped eating in order to focus all of her attention on protecting her eggs and keeping them clean (she can’t leave the eggs to forage for food, and if she eats, she would be getting feces on her eggs, making them dirty). Like all octopuses, Big Mama will die shortly after the eggs hatch.

In preparation for the babies, we have set up a rearing tank in Quarantine.Big Mama spends all of her time pumping water over her eggs to keep them clean and oxygenated. She also uses her tentacle to protect them and gently sway them back and forth. The gestation period is 50-80 days, so we expect the eggs to hatch in May. This is a rare thing to see in Colorado, and it is very inspirational to see this “ultimate Mother Sacrifice,” since like all octopuses, Big Mama has stopped eating in order to focus all of her attention on protecting her eggs and keeping them clean (she can’t leave the eggs to forage for food, and if she eats, she would be pooping on her eggs, making them dirty). Like all Octopuses, Big Mama will die shortly after the eggs hatch. In preparation for the babies, we have set up a rearing tank in Quarantine.

Be sure to add Butterfly Pavilion to your weekend plans to see this amazing and rare opportunity up close!


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /home/customer/www/myprimetimenews.com/public_html/wp-content/themes/PrimeTime/lib/builder-core/lib/layout-engine/modules/class-layout-module.php on line 499