SCOTTSDALE, AZ — The beloved Giant Pacific Octopus named Tako at the OdySea Aquarium is coming to her final stage of life after laying thousands of eggs in her exhibit. The process is known as “Senescence,” and experts say it’s a normal phase that can last a couple months or even up to a year.
According to the aquarium, Tako didn’t mate with a male octopus- so, her eggs aren’t fertile.
“Even though they’re not fertilized, she’s still going to lay them. She doesn’t know that they’re not fertilized so she’s going to take care of them, very similar to how an octopus would out in the wild,” said Peter Santoro, animal care specialist at the OdySea Aquarium.
It’s estimated that Tako laid between 50,000-75,000 eggs, each the size of a grain of rice.
A RARE OPPORTUNITY TO PRESENCE
Tako’s species is typically found in the Northern Pacific Ocean, where it’s very cold and their habitat is in the depths of the water where there’s not a lot of light.
Tako entering her final stage of life is seen as an opportunity to celebrate her life and educate others about her species.
“Because she was so comfortable laying the eggs right there, in her exhibit, we decided to keep her on exhibit so people could see her and see this,” said Karin Korpowski-Gallo, director of public relations at the Arizona Boardwalk. “They’re so far down deep in the ocean, that seeing this happen… it doesn’t happen to anyone often.”
“It’s a tough time for the team, but at the same time, it’s a really good opportunity to educate the public on their lifecycle because… its very natural and conveying that message I think is important, and it’s a rare opportunity that we’re given right now,” said Santoro to ABC15.
IF YOU GO
- OdySea Aquarium [9500 E Via De Ventura, Suite A-100]
- Hours: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.