When a mother is expecting it is of interest how her little ones are developing. In this case, there are thousands of them.
The Alaska SeaLife Center’s Giant Pacific Octopus “Dot” has laid eggs in one of the tanks in the Denizens of the Deep exhibit.
Richard Hocking, Alaska SeaLife Center says, “its a species that has only been raised in captivity successfully from an egg to an adult one time and that was in the 1980s.So for us and for many other aquariums raising this species it is something like a Holy Grail I guess people want to be able to say that they did it.”
Giant Pacific Octopus only live to be about five years old – and the SeaLife Center has had issues before with octopus passing away before their wee-ones were hatched.
Richard Hocking, Alaska SeaLife Center says, “for us to be about to work with them and raise them up and then look at the different diets and what their preferences are; you want these things to be repeatable.In a way, even though this isn’t a science research project, it borrows from the Scientific Method in that you want repeatable results and to be able to do it again.”
Researchers won’t know if the eggs are fertile until this spring – when dark eyes will show up on the embryos within each egg capsule.
You can watch this story quite literally develop at the Alaska Sealife Center. The Denizens of the Deep exhibit is on the main floor and SeaLife Center is open to the public year round.
Also of note is that with reservations you may be able to schedule a special tour that allows you to touch live octopuses in a exclusive behind-the-scenes octopus encounters at the Alaska SeaLife Center.