Dorado octopus born at a depth of 3000 metres

Dorado octopus born at a depth of 3000 metres

In June and December 2023, the American research ship Valcor (Also) From the Schmidt Ocean Institute two exciting trips to the deep sea in the Pacific Ocean near Costa Rica. They went to the underwater volcano with hydrothermal springs of cold water, which was discovered in 2013. Through research with the SuBastian ship, a remotely piloted ship, a fertile breeding ground for octopuses was discovered there at a depth of three thousand meters. The purpose of these expeditions was to study underwater breeding colonies in detail. They succeeded: four new species of squid were discovered.

One of these new species of octopus was found near a cold water spring on Dorado Hill in the Loma El Dorado underwater volcano. Nowadays it has become Golden octopus The name of the thing. At these sources, relatively warm water with a temperature of about 10 degrees Celsius emerges from the ground. This is much warmer than the 1.5°C in the surrounding deep sea. It is an oasis of her life, unique and unknown.

Breeding for years

The first test shows that the dorado octopus has many similarities to the pearl octopus (Myosctopus is strong). This was found off the coast of California, at the same depth. Squid migrate by the thousands across the cold deep sea to hydrothermal vents to mate, after which the males die. They did their job. But not the females: they make a nest, incubate it and guard it while they do not eat anymore. This takes about two years. For nests in a cold environment, this can take up to five years. When the eggs hatch, they die.

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In the cold temperature of the deep sea, metabolism is low and growth, movement and reproduction slow. As a result, birth rates are low, and reproduction and life span are long. Thanks to the heat of the cold springs, the metabolism accelerates and the fetuses grow faster. The reproductive period is only about two years instead of five.

Source: Schmidt Ocean Institute, California, United States

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