Hundreds Of Baby Reef Octopi Born At Aquarium In North Kingstown

Jan 9, 2014

Hundreds of new babies have arrived at the Biomes Marine Biology Center in North Kingstown.

Caribbean Reef Octopus
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Pearl, a reef octopus, native to the Carribean, laid between one-hundred fifty and two hundred eggs at the center last year.  Many of them hatched over the weekend.

It’s the first time this has happened at the center in its twenty year history.

It’s a very rare occurrence in New England, says executive director Mark Hall, because the octopus, which was caught in New England waters, must have bred in the wild.

“The fact that she bred at some point this summer, is amazing because she had to have found a male, and they’re very rare.  I’ve only seen three or four of them in my life," said Hall.

Hall says the babies are growing rapidly; feeding voraciously on plankton supplied by Roger Williams University.

However, the birth signals the end of Pearl’s life, as reef octopus have life spans of only about a year, and die after their young hatch.

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