Male Octopus and Mating
Name: Jason H.
I am a senior wildlife biology student, and I have been
trying to find out the answer to a question.
Why do MALE octopuses die shortly after mating? I've been trying to think
of the evolutionary
advantages to this, but the answers I come up with don't impress me. Ha.
Thanks so much for any help
you can give.
Well, evolutionarily speaking, ALL of us could die shortly after a successful
mating, because we have "done our duty". I suppose once offspring are
created, the parents are no longer needed. A female may be able to have many
offspring in her lifetime, so maybe keeping her around makes sense.
I have read accounts of the male (in some species) will reside with the female
in some protected area after the transfer of sperm by the male. This would
indicate that the male does not die immediately after the sperm has been
transfered in some species. I have been unable to find any accounts to support
the idea that males die after mating.
Click here to return to the Zoology Archives
Update: June 2012