Shortly after being put on exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences, this Caribbean Octopus vulgaris took up residence inside a glass bottle, on full view for adoring fans. Just as quickly, it moved back under a rock and started denning, and laying eggs. While eggs being laid in captivity is generally an exciting event, this particular species, like many but not all octopus, stops eating after it lays eggs and dies soon after they hatch which tends to put a damper on the joyous occasion. The biologist responsible for their care, Richard Ross, caught the hatching of the eggs from start to finish on film, and describes it as a waterfall flowing upwards toward the water's surface. Now, Ross faces the difficult task of trying to support thousands of tiny hatchlings. This species is "small egged" meaning it produces large numbers of very small planktonic 'paralarvae' which are notoriously difficult to feed and raise. The adult female and hatchlings will be on display for as long as possible in the Staff Picks area of Steinhart Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences.
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