The grim, final days of a mother octopus

Octopuses are the undisputed darlings of the science internet, and for good reason. They're incredibly intelligent problem-solvers and devious escape artists with large, complex nervous systems. They have near-magical abilities to change colors, skin textures and shapes instantaneously, and they can ergenerate missing arms at will. 

But the final days of a female octopus after it reproduces are quite grim, at least to human eyes. Octopuses are semelparous animals, which means they reproduce once and then they die. After a female octopus lays a clutch of eggs, she quits eating and wastes away; by the time the eggs hatch, she dies. In the later stages, some females in captivity even seem to intentionally speed along the death spiral, banging into the sides of the tank, tearing off pieces of skin or eating the tips of their own tentacles. (If you're wondering, the males don't get off any easier. Females often kill and eat their mates; if not, they die a few months later, too).

The rest of the article is on The Forefront

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