Octo-fuss: Internet goes wild for color-changing hatchling footage (VIDEO)
The Virginia Aquarium released the footage of a baby Caribbean Reef octopus (Octopus briareus) emerging into the world.
The 10-second video has been watched more than 1.4 million times since it was shared on the aquarium’s Twitter account on Wednesday. The octopus is seen emerging from a flower-like cluster of eggs. At first, it appears white in color but soon turns to a shade of brown before it swims off.
The Aquarium explained the color change on Twitter. “It seemed like the stress of hatching caused the chromatophores to fire almost immediately before settling down. (All the hatches we witnessed had the same progression),” it said.
Chromatophores are cells with pigments that are found in a number of amphibians, fish and cephalopods. Octopuses are part of the cephalopod family.
“After the initial hatch they did calm back down,” the aquarium said. “Once they landed in the hatchling aquarium, they began utilizing their chromatophores more normally and working to blend in with the exhibit.”
This is the first time the aquarium has hatched octopuses and about 15-20 have been born in the last few days.
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