The Trigger That Makes an Octopus Mom Self-Destruct | The New York Times

Mimic octopus in the MBL Marine Resources Center. Credit: Jennifer Tsang

Note: Study co-author Z. Yan Wang will be a Grass Fellow at MBL this summer.

Most octopus species live for one year. But the deaths of octopus mothers after they reproduce have long been a scientific spectacle.

Why exactly octopus mothers engage in a form of self-harm that leads to death just after they reproduce remains something of a mystery. But a study published Thursday in the journal Current Biology uses the California two-spot octopus as a model to help explain the physiology of this strange behavior.

Z. Yan Wang, an assistant professor of psychology and biology at the University of Washington and an author of the study, explained that the female of the species goes through three reproductive stages. Read rest of the article here.

Source: The Trigger That Makes an Octopus Mom Self-Destruct | The New York Times