An Octopus Birth, Then a Surprise Burst of Color

Video by Virginia Aquarium viewed 2.4M times
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2018 9:40 AM CST

(Newser) – It happens almost in the blink of an eye. A colorless creature pops from a bundle of eggs, turns a brownish-purple hue, and swims away. It's a rare sight now witnessed by millions, thanks to the Virginia Aquarium, which shared a video of the Caribbean reef octopus's birth on Facebook and Twitter. One of several octopuses that've hatched at the aquarium recently, the creature uses sacs of pigment called chromatophores for camouflage and may have turned dark to mimic the black tabletop under its tank, a curator tells the Verge. A spokesman tells Phys.org the pigment might've instead been a result of the stress of birth. Any surviving octopuses are likely to remain at the aquarium, though the mother, having completed her life's goal of procreation, will soon die. (Check out this "sneaky" new octopus species.)

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