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Home / Science / Hundreds of Purple Octopus Moms are Super Weird and they are doomed to fail

Hundreds of Purple Octopus Moms are Super Weird and they are doomed to fail



Miles below the surface of the ocean, in the dark waters along a rocky seabed, an underwater vehicle unexpectedly encountered a bizarre spectacle: hundreds of small, purple octopi, many of which protect mothers' eggs and cling to the hardened lava underwater. Volcano

The sight was amazing, researchers said. During several dives, the scientists saw in the submersible up to 100 octopuses at a time, with most of the hatching eggs attached to the ledge accumulating around cracks in the cooled lava substrate.

The octopuses, which have enormous eyes compared to their plate-sized bodies, have been identified as a new species in the genus Muuscoctopus. This made the sightings even stranger, as squid in this group are usually loners who do not congregate in dense groups. [8 Crazy Facts About Octopuses]

It got weirder from there. The water temperatures in which the colony crouched were much warmer than those of deep-sea octopuses, which have difficulty extracting oxygen from excessively hot water. In fact, researchers who studied the colony found that none of the embryos developed and reported in a new study that the adults "probably would not survive".

What is the story behind this mysterious, doomed gathering of squid mothers in volcanically warmed waters and protective eggs that will never hatch

"When I saw the photos for the first time I thought, "No, they should not be there! so deep and not so many, "said co-author Janet Voight, an associate curator for zoology at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, in a statement from the museum.

The story unfolded at the Dorado Outcrop, lying about 250 Kilometers west of Costa Rica at a depth of 3,000 meters Study Co-Author Geoff Wheat, a geochemist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, has completed two expeditions ̵

1; 2013 and 2014 – taking photos and taking hundreds of hours of video footage of the unusual octopus . Assembly

<img class = "pure -img lazy" big-src = "https://img.purch.com/h/1400/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5saXZlc2NpZW5jZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kvMDAwLzA5OS80MjMvb3JpZ2luYWwvZ2lhbnQtZ2F0aGVyaW5nLW9jdG9wdXMtbW9tcy0wMy5qcGc/MTUyNDA4NDIyOQ==" src = "https: //img.purch .com / w / 640 / aHR0cDovL3d3dy5saXZlc2NpZW5jZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kvMDAwLzA5OS80MjMvaTAyL2dpYW50LWdhdGhlcmluZy1vY3RvcHVzLW1vbXMtMDMuanBnPzE1MjQwODQyMjk = "alt =" An octopus of the genus Muusoctopus travels along the outcrop. “/>

An octopus of the genus Muusoctopus travels along the outcrop.

Credit: Phil Torres / Geoff Wheat

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During the dives, the researchers collected water temperature data and assessed the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water and observed 606 squid (though some may have been counted multiple times) Researchers). The smooth skin of the animals, the two rows of suction cups on their arms, and their brooding postures identified them as members of the genus Muuscoctopus .

However, the scientists did not collect individuals, and the newly discovered species remains blank, according to the study. [Octlantis: See Photos of Tight-Knit Gloomy Octopus Communities]

But what did so many octopuses do in this place? It is very unlikely that they were moved to the area because it was a desirable place to lay eggs, the scientists said. Although previous research has shown that elevated water temperatures can accelerate egg development, the heat also increases the octopus metabolism rate, causing them to use more oxygen. And the water that seeped from cracks in the ledges carried only half as much oxygen as the water in the surrounding areas, wrote the authors of the study.

Together, these factors would have catastrophic consequences for moms and eggs – severe and probably even fatal, the scientist said.

 A group of eggs became visible after a brooding octopod had moved its position on the surface of the Dorado outcrop.

A bit of eggs became visible after a brooding octopod changed its position on the surface of the Dorado outcrop

Image: Screenshot from ALVIN images by Anne M. Hartwell

Perhaps the conditions around the rocks were not so bad if the mothers initially laid their eggs, the researchers speculated. The flow of heated, low-oxygen fluid was perhaps weaker or absent when the octopuses first arrived, but then, after their eggs were in place, they did not want to leave.

It is also possible that these individuals were forced to move to an undesirable neighborhood because of overcrowding in cooler, more hospitable parts of the ledge. In this scenario, the females would simply have had no choice but to move to the hot, deoxygenated area to lay their eggs, the researchers said.

Given that group of stressed-out squid mothers was so large I suspect an even larger population was thriving nearby, Voight suggested in the statement.

"Octopus females produce only a couple of eggs in their lives, so more octopus must be replaced to replace the dying moms and eggs we see," said Voight.

Wheat and the lead author of the study, Anne Hartwell, an oceanographer who belongs to the University of Akron in Ohio and the University of Fairbanks in Alaska, even reported octopus arms sticking out of cracks on the outcrop, suggesting that Octopuses in caves lurked in these cracks, where the water was cooler and oxygen-rich, added Voight.

For now, the mystery of the endangered squid nursery Rem ains is unresolved. The discovery of the congregation gave the researchers an exciting insight into the unseen octopus behavior, reminding them of how many scientists have not yet learned about life in the unexplored sea depths, Wheat said in the statement.

"This is only the third hydrothermal system of its kind that has been sampled, yet millions of similar environments exist in the deep sea," said Wheat. "What other remarkable discoveries are waiting for us?"

The results were published online on March 28 in the Deep Sea Research journal Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers

Original article on Live Science [19659031]


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