The Octopus Life Cycle

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The Octopus Life Cycle
The Octopus Life Cycle (Image: Photo by Andrea Prave)

Octopus are cephalopod mollusks that have eight arms equipped with two rows of suckers. There are more than 100 species of octopi living in marine waters throughout the world. The best known species is the common octopus, which lives in tropical seas.

Octopus Eggs

An octopus mother lays between 20,000 and 100,000 eggs inside a rocky cavern over the course of several days. She nurtures the eggs for a period of 150 days to seven months or more, depending on water temperatures.

Octopus Hatchlings

Once the octopus eggs hatch, they are in the larvae stage. At this point the hatchlings swiftly make their way to the water's surface.

Juvenile Octopus

As juveniles, octopi are considered plankton. During this stage, they feed on other plankton that live near the ocean's surface.

Short Lifespan

Most octopus species live for only 12-18 months and breed only once during their lifetime, according to the Wild Fisheries Research Program, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries.

Senescence Stage

Just before death, octopi enter the senescence stage of its life cycle, during which period it will eat little, according to "Octopus Senescence: The Beginning of the End" by Roland C. Anderson, Ph.D, and James B. Wood, Ph.D.

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