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The unfortunate, awkward world of octopus sex

As if it's not bad enough that there's always a risk of any social interaction turning into cannibalism, the sex lives of octopuses are further complicated by the fact that both males and females die not too long after the first time they get laid. Males only survive a few months. Females stick around long enough for their eggs to hatch, and then die soon after.

And then, of course, there's the indignity of the local aquarium scheduling your mating for Valentine's Day, in front of a crowd, and putting a video of the whole thing up on the Internet.

Sorry, octopuses.

Read more about octopus reproduction in this piece by Katherine Harmon at The Octopus Chronicles.

OMG, baby octopodes!

National Geographic's Enric Sala took this photo during an expedition in Gabon. He and another researcher were using a remote operated vehicle to explore the ocean off the coast of that country's Loango National Park.

When we picked up the shell from the ROV’s arm, to our surprise, a small octopus came out of the shell. It was a female that laid her eggs inside the shell. We put shell and octopus in a tank with seawater, and after one minute thousands of octopus larvae started to stream out of the shell. The octopus eggs were hatching! That was the first time we had observed such a magnificent show. The larvae were changing coloration from transparent with dark spots to brown, and swimming like squid – although on a millimeter scale.

Read the rest of Sala's posts from Gabon

Via Miriam Goldstein