If your girlfriend tries to eat or kill you during sex, you’ll probably tend to steer clear of her sharp, pointy beak. Not a problem for you? Oh that’s right, you’re not an octopus.
For many of these cephalopods, getting away from a mating session without grievous wounds is a rare occurrence, unless of course, you’re a Larger Pacific Striped Octopus. Then making tiny octopi is a Barry White-like affair.
A female Larger Pacific Striped octopus went on display yesterday, the first time the species has ever been unveiled in captivity to the public. Her new home is at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, where researchers are hoping to watch her very un-octopus-like mating habits.
Given the violence implicit in so many octopuses’ mating sessions, most individuals try to mate with the least amount of contact possible. The Larger Pacific Striped Octopus, however, mates beak-to-beak, gripping each other tightly in a loving embrace.
Right now the female octopus is alone in her enclosure, but researchers will introduce a male to the tank soon. Their species tends to live in cohorts of about 40 octopuses, so scientists hope to add more individuals to the habitat in time to observe their social behavior.