Beauty Point's Seahorse World awaiting arrival of 100-plus baby octopuses

MINISCULE: Baby octopuses have been born at Beauty Point's Seahorse World for the first time in its 17-year history. Picture: Paul Scambler

MINISCULE: Baby octopuses have been born at Beauty Point's Seahorse World for the first time in its 17-year history. Picture: Paul Scambler

What’s pale, surprisingly lovable and has eight arms? 

A baby octopus, although we also would have accepted rangy Essendon full-back Dustin Fletcher. 

Seahorse World is expecting about 100 of the former to hatch at its aquarium in Beauty Point, with a handful of octopuses having already emerged from their eggs. 

Aquarium manager Christopher Carey said the new arrivals were the first baby octopuses to be born at Seahorse World since it started up at the turn of the century. 

“They’re adorable,” Mr Carey said. 

“The baby ones are probably one centimetre long and wide so they’re absolutely tiny - it makes getting photos and videos of them difficult because they’re quite small.”

While they might look cute, baby octopuses can also be a handful. 

Mr Carey said the business had put in a big effort to ensure its tanks were octopus-proof in the leadup to the births. 

“Keeping octopuses in aquariums can be quite difficult for a lot of reasons, one of them being that because of their tentacles they can climb out of tanks quite easily - it’s almost like a toddler climbing out of a cot - and if they’re determined to get out they’re actually super intelligent and they can find a way out.

“Most of their body is soft and gelatinous, they have one hard bit of their body which is their beak that they eat with, and that beak is the only thing that stops them from climbing through a space.

“They can almost get through a pinhole, so if there’s a small crack in the side where they can climb out, they’ll do it.”

The babies have come courtesy of a Pale Octopus which was supplied to the aquarium by a local fisherman about three months ago.

The remaining eggs are expected to hatch over the next week.

“Pale Octopuses grow to about 1.2 to 1.4kg so they’re quite a small breed, some octopuses grow to 8kg. 

“One year is a good life for an octopus which means that they’re going to grow quite quickly, so it’s a little bit daunting to have this many octopuses because they require quite a high level of care.

“The prospect that we could have 100 or 200... we might be overrun soon.”

The Examiner

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