Thank you to all who came out to see us at the University of Illinois' 9th Undergraduate Research Symposium. We will also be presenting at the Molecular and Integrative Physiology Annual Retreat on April 29th in Allerton, hope to see you all there!
After several months of trying to share our work with fellow marine enthusiasts, we have finally succeeded in publishing a short article with FishChannel.com describing our adventures in raising Octopus bimaculoides. Check it out!
New semester, new project! We received three Octopus Rubescens and will begin studying their peripheral nervous system and see how memory is stored and integrated.
As the semester comes to an end we want to thank everyone who helped us in this project by sharing resources and donating live food. This has been an amazing endeavor and we wish the Gillette Lab Summer maintenance crew the best of luck with keeping the octopuses over the next few months.
A few of the eggs kept in the cooler environment (15 degrees Celsius) hatched today. A single clutch of eggs with more than six hatchlings are headed to Stanford University for research purposes, making these octopuses the youngest Cephalopods to be accepted into Stanford. Good luck on your endeavors!
Yesterday we moved a small clutch of eggs - maybe two dozen that had been in a cooler aquarium at 15 degrees Celsius for several weeks - back into the main aquarium (18 degrees Celsius), and today we were greeted by six new faces.
The Octopus fry were reintroduced to frozen foods. After days without food, they appear to be sufficiently hungry enough to accept and eat the frozen meal.
The baby octopuses were introduced to a new food source: baby crayfish. The crayfish were hatched and raised in the lab and the octopuses readily hunted and consumed them.
Some of the octopuses seem to know when it is feeding time, indicated through their behavior. They gravitate towards the top of their containers in anticipation of the coming meal. It is hard to determine if any are developing personalities but certain individuals show more explorative behavior than others that prefer to hide. This is especially apparent during feeding and when the lights are first flipped on in the room.
The octopuses seem to be growing in size and appear to be more eagerly pursuing or hunting their live prey. They are now accepting blood worms, guppy and clownfish fry. We currently have 17 individuals separated into their own containers, while many more individuals share the remaining space in the aquarium.