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  • Jash Bhinde


Many diverse types of animal species die after childbirth. Most mothers want to remain next to their young ones and not to leave their sides as all mothers are protective by nature. However, in octopus mothers, its quite the opposite. This does imply that octopuses are destined to be orphans from a very young age . Because by the time a baby octopus hatches out of the egg , its mother is already DEAD , that too in one of the most dreadful ways.

In many octopus’ species, the mother octopus, right before her eggs are about to hatch, stops eating for a few days. She then stops protecting her eggs and gets bent on self-destruction. She may start to beat herself against a rock, tear herself apart or start eating her own flesh.

After years and years of research, researchers and scientists have discovered the main reason this fatal frenzy occurs. They have found out that different chemicals and hormones control these changes in the body. After the mother octopus lays her eggs, she undergoes many changes in the production, release and use of the level of cholesterol in her body, which, in turn, increases the rate of production of a specific hormone in the body- the steroid hormone which helps to control metabolism, immune functions, salt and water level balance in the body, development of sexual characteristics and the ability to withstand different types of injuries and illnesses in the body. This is a bio-chemical shift in her body which will soon lead to her doom. Some of the changes hint at the many processes that help to explain the longevity of life in all the invertebrates more generally, said Yan Wang, an assistant professor of psychology and biology at the University of Washington.

“Now that we have discovered these neural pathways, we’re really interested in linking them to individual behaviors, or even individual differences in how these animals express these different types of behaviors,” said Wang. The researchers at the University of Washington are carrying on their research deeper into this abnormal behavior of mother octopus’.

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