How long do octopuses live?
Octopuses are marine animals that belong to the Octopoda order. This animal has four pairs of arms and two eyes. Octopuses are living in almost every ocean in the world and in most of the seas. They are usually found on the ocean floor, pelagic water and coral reefs. What has always fascinated people is octopuses' abilities to protect themselves when they are threatened by predators. Most of them expulse ink while others use deimatic displays and camouflage to confuse predators. They can also jet very fast in the water and know how to hide. It is interesting that every octopus is venomous and there is one type of octopus that can actually kill people: the blue-ringed octopus.
Types of octopuses an intelligence
While we are talking about the different types of octopuses it is worth mentioning that there are more than 300 different species of this animal. Another thing that most people find interesting about octopuses is their intelligence. Some say that they are the most intelligent invertebrates in the world. Several studies have confirmed that they have a memory system that allows them to memorize things even for a very long period of time. Few other experiments have shown that octopuses have the ability to recognize different patterns and shapes.
Although some people believe that octopuses live for a long time, truth is that most of them have a relatively short lifespan. The most important thing about determining octopuses' lifespan is their species. In general, the species that are larger tend to live longer. Some sources have confirmed that the temperature of water also plays role in their longevity. For instance, octopuses that live in colder waters live much longer. At a temperature of 10 degrees Celsius, the O. Dofleini or the Giant octopus lives up to five years. Some smaller species that live in warmer waters live between 4 and 6 months.
When it comes to the gender, it is good to know that female octopuses have a shorter lifespan due to one reason. Namely, octopuses are one of the rare animals that reproduce only once in their lifetime. When the eggs are hatched the life of female octopuses ends because they are completely dedicated to the growth of their offspring. As a result of death, they die of starvation. It is interesting that the lives of males are also related to the process of mating because they usually die about 3-4 months after mating.
There are many people who keep octopuses as pets. Some of the most common pet octopuses are octopus briareus, octopus aculeatus, octopus bocki and octopus bimaculoides. Although experts have many disagreements about the effects of captivity on octopus lifespan, most agree that the effects are minimal.
Finally, we should not forget that these animals have a specific diet and this is another factor that has an impact on their lifespan. Those who live close to the bottom of seas and oceans eat mollusks, polychaete worms, and crabs while those who live in the open sea and oceans eat fish, prawns and specific types of cephalopods.
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Very interesting reading about the lifespan of octopuses being so short, but why is this? The fact that they only reproduce once doesn't actually explain WHAT causes their short lifespans? Do they have short telomeres, do they lack P57 anti-cancer genes? Is there some hormone that triggers programmed cell death after reproduction? What in essence stops such a beautiful, extraordinary and intelligent creature for living a relatively long lifespan? (Based on general size, these creatures should live for at least 10 years).