Featured Image Credit: QUARTZ
Generally, marine biologists think of octopuses as solitary animals. The eight-armed animals are rarely seen in groups but that idea has recently challenged. One event off the coast of California changed the minds of many scientists.
On October 23rd, scientists spotted a gathering of thousands of octopuses. The event was only the second of its kind that scientists have observed. But the first sighting in Costa Rica was not nearly as larger.
According to Chad King, the lead scientist on NOAA’s Nautilus vessel, had this to say about the discovery, “This has never been discovered on the West Coast of the US, never in our sanctuary and never in the world with these numbers. I’ve never in my career come across something like this, where these could potentially be nursery habitats.”
As with many discoveries, this discovery happened by accident. The crew was finishing a 35 hour expedition in Monterey when they happened upon the scene. Based on the brooding animals, the researchers believe that the congregation was made up of females fastening their eggs on to rocks deep beneath the ocean’s surface.
Scientists will need to find more of these events before they can determine exactly what is happening. It is an amazing event that requires further study!
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