Understanding octopus growth: patterns, variability and physiology

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2004
Authors:J. M. Semmens, Pecl, G. T., Villanueva, R., Jouffre, D., Sobrino, I., Wood, J. B., Rigby, P. R.
Journal:Marine and Freshwater Research
Volume:55
Pagination:367-377
ISBN Number:1323-1650
Accession Number:ISI:000222236600005
Abstract:

Octopuses are generally characterised by rapid non-asymptotic growth, with high individual variability. However, in situ octopus growth is not well understood. The lack of an ageing method has resulted in the majority of our understanding of octopus growth coming from laboratory studies. Despite not being applicable to cephalopods, Modal Progression Analysis (MPA) of length-frequency data is the most common method for examining in situ octopus growth. Recently, counting growth increments in beaks and vestigial shells, and quantifying lipofuscin in brain tissue, have all shown promise for the ageing octopus. Octopuses generally demonstrate two-phase growth in the laboratory, with physiological changes possibly associated with the switch between an initial rapid exponential phase and a slower power growth phase. Temperature and food ration and quality are key factors influencing the initial growth phase. Temperature, however, does not appear to affect the second phase in any consistent way, perhaps because maturity stage can influence the growth response. There may be basic differences in the mechanisms of octopus muscle growth compared with that of other cephalopods. Furthermore, higher relative maintenance energy expenditure, along with the low energy content of their prey, may account for the relatively slow growth of deep-sea octopuses compared to littoral species.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith