How male octopuses avoid being eaten by hungry female?

selective focus photography of octopus
Photo by Pia on

Often deemed the most intelligent invertebrates on the planet, octopuses can use primitive tools, unfasten tight jar lids and tightly control their body color to mix with their surroundings. They use this sharp intelligence, particularly in survival situations — including when they are trying to dodge getting eaten by their hungry partners.

Octopuses come in all sizes and shapes and occupy diverse regions of the ocean.

These marine wonders have concise lives, generally lasting only a couple of years and sometimes as short as six months. They spend their childhood alone, growing and eating alone, before reaching sexual maturity. Once they are matured, they metabolize their muscles to make sperms and eggs and begin to mate.

It’s not recorded how mature female and male octopuses encounter each other in the boundless ocean. Males appear to spend a lot of time searching for females, while females become less active as adults and perhaps draw males to them using chemicals and smells.

A male day octopus will stand and mount over his potential lady while turning pale — as he moves near a female, he’ll flash a characteristic pattern of black stripes across his soft body.

It is one of the most complicated sexual behaviors in the wild. In this species, a male will defend a female from other guys while staying in a den in a tentacle’s reach of the female’s burrow. If another guy comes by, he grapples with and pushes his competition, a fight that may end in death.

Male octopuses are known to be aggressive and display other dangerous qualities when fighting. However, mating for males as an Octopus is a deadly game due to the female’s affection for cannibalism. To dodge getting eaten, they’ll usually mate from a distance or after fixing the back of a female’s mantle — positions that give them additional time to escape should their (generally larger) mate turn hungry and violent. So, an extra hand and reproduction from a distance is the way male octopuses prefer while mating with a female. They do this not just for pleasure but also to survive a female’s hunger. The male octopus has to push his sperm straight into the female’s body using one of his extra arms without coming close to survive.

Females keep their spermatophores safe until they’re ready to lay their eggs. Sadly, males die within months after mating, while wild females watch over their eggs until they hatch and then die soon after.

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