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Deep-sea octopus (Graneledone boreopacifica) conducts the longest-known egg-brooding period of any animal.

Robison B, Seibel B, Drazen J - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: We found an opportunity to directly measure the brooding period of the deep-sea octopus Graneledone boreopacifica, in its natural habitat.These surprising results emphasize the selective value of prolonged embryonic development in order to produce competitive hatchlings.They also extend the known boundaries of physiological adaptations for life in the deep sea.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Research Division, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, California, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Octopuses typically have a single reproductive period and then they die (semelparity). Once a clutch of fertilized eggs has been produced, the female protects and tends them until they hatch. In most shallow-water species this period of parental care can last from 1 to 3 months, but very little is known about the brooding of deep-living species. In the cold, dark waters of the deep ocean, metabolic processes are often slower than their counterparts at shallower depths. Extrapolations from data on shallow-water octopus species suggest that lower temperatures would prolong embryonic development periods. Likewise, laboratory studies have linked lower temperatures to longer brooding periods in cephalopods, but direct evidence has not been available. We found an opportunity to directly measure the brooding period of the deep-sea octopus Graneledone boreopacifica, in its natural habitat. At 53 months, it is by far the longest egg-brooding period ever reported for any animal species. These surprising results emphasize the selective value of prolonged embryonic development in order to produce competitive hatchlings. They also extend the known boundaries of physiological adaptations for life in the deep sea.

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Empty egg cases, October 2011.This is a composite figure, showing empty egg cases, and attachment sites (indicated by green cement residue), used to enumerate the number of egg cases in the clutch, after hatching.
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pone-0103437-g005: Empty egg cases, October 2011.This is a composite figure, showing empty egg cases, and attachment sites (indicated by green cement residue), used to enumerate the number of egg cases in the clutch, after hatching.

Mentions: In September of 2011 the brooding female and her eggs were still in place. When we returned in October of 2011 she was gone and the rock face she had occupied held the tattered remnants of empty egg capsules (Figure 5). Thus the total length of the brooding period we measured was from May, 2007 to September, 2011, or 53 months. From HD video frame grabs of the empty capsules and the characteristic green cement of their anchor points [3] we estimate the clutch size to have been between 155 and 165 eggs.


Deep-sea octopus (Graneledone boreopacifica) conducts the longest-known egg-brooding period of any animal.

Robison B, Seibel B, Drazen J - PLoS ONE (2014)

Empty egg cases, October 2011.This is a composite figure, showing empty egg cases, and attachment sites (indicated by green cement residue), used to enumerate the number of egg cases in the clutch, after hatching.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4116195&req=5

pone-0103437-g005: Empty egg cases, October 2011.This is a composite figure, showing empty egg cases, and attachment sites (indicated by green cement residue), used to enumerate the number of egg cases in the clutch, after hatching.
Mentions: In September of 2011 the brooding female and her eggs were still in place. When we returned in October of 2011 she was gone and the rock face she had occupied held the tattered remnants of empty egg capsules (Figure 5). Thus the total length of the brooding period we measured was from May, 2007 to September, 2011, or 53 months. From HD video frame grabs of the empty capsules and the characteristic green cement of their anchor points [3] we estimate the clutch size to have been between 155 and 165 eggs.

Bottom Line: We found an opportunity to directly measure the brooding period of the deep-sea octopus Graneledone boreopacifica, in its natural habitat.These surprising results emphasize the selective value of prolonged embryonic development in order to produce competitive hatchlings.They also extend the known boundaries of physiological adaptations for life in the deep sea.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Research Division, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, California, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Octopuses typically have a single reproductive period and then they die (semelparity). Once a clutch of fertilized eggs has been produced, the female protects and tends them until they hatch. In most shallow-water species this period of parental care can last from 1 to 3 months, but very little is known about the brooding of deep-living species. In the cold, dark waters of the deep ocean, metabolic processes are often slower than their counterparts at shallower depths. Extrapolations from data on shallow-water octopus species suggest that lower temperatures would prolong embryonic development periods. Likewise, laboratory studies have linked lower temperatures to longer brooding periods in cephalopods, but direct evidence has not been available. We found an opportunity to directly measure the brooding period of the deep-sea octopus Graneledone boreopacifica, in its natural habitat. At 53 months, it is by far the longest egg-brooding period ever reported for any animal species. These surprising results emphasize the selective value of prolonged embryonic development in order to produce competitive hatchlings. They also extend the known boundaries of physiological adaptations for life in the deep sea.

Show MeSH