Coconut Octopus with Eggs

The coconut octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus) is an intelligent cephalopod widespread in the Indo-Pacific tropical waters. It has derived the name from its tendency of carrying coconut or seashells as its armor. Also, it’s one of only two octopuses known for walking on two tentacles.

When the water gets warm, the male octopus passes the spermatophore with a hectocotylus (a tentacle) into the female’s mantle area. It is quite a risky affair for the males as females are prone to eat their counterparts during mating. So, males disguise themselves as females in order to have offspring.

After a period of 11 months, a female coconut octopus lays up to 100,000 eggs, each sizing less than 0.24 in (6 mm). She keeps the eggs in a safe corner or crevice and protects them until they hatch. Female coconut octopuses are extremely protective of their eggs and release ink to their threats.

(Text: Animal Spot)