Being a mom takes a whole lot of sweat, tears love and dedication. For the female octopus, they would just about give up their lives for their offspring.
She lays about 56,000 eggs, strings them together and hangs them from the roof of her cave. She then lovingly guards her eggs by protecting them from predators, swiping away debris that might come into contact with the eggs and delicately cleaning them with her suckers. She gently blows currents of water across her beloved eggs to provide them with oxygen and during this time she doesn’t even hunt for food and ends up starving herself.
Once the baby octopuses emerge, their mom gently blows them into the open water where they instinctively already know how to take care of themselves. However, with all this effort and hard work only a few would grow into adulthood, but this is still enough to keep the octopus population steady.
Dolphins also have a special bond with their calves, nursing them for about a year and a half after birth. They carry their babies for 12 months before giving birth and the mom’s dedicatedly teach the calves to swim and breathe properly as well as how to evade danger and catch prey.
They spend about three to six years with their children and once the calves go off on their own they return to their mother’s pod for visits and it has been observed that female offspring tend to visit more frequently than males.
All of us are familiar with how birds would build nests for their eggs. Did you know that the triggerfish build a nest as well? They create a depression in the sand of the chosen nesting area by fanning it with their caudal and dorsal fins.
After laying their eggs, the female guards her eggs and blows water on them to provide oxygen as the male stays further above aggressively guarding his territory.
Unlike most fish that lay eggs and leave them to fend for themselves, lobster moms dedicatedly carry about 8,000 to 100,000 fertilized bright orange eggs on their underside for 9 to 11 months until they hatch.
She fearlessly defends her babies from predators and once hatched she flicks and waves her tail to scatter them far and wide through the water. Sadly only a couple of her offspring will survive into adulthood.
Of all animals the strongest maternal bonds are formed between orcas and their offspring. Both male and female calves stay with their mothers for their entire life. This bond is so strong that researchers have observed that adult males in the wild stop eating after their mother’s death and eventually starve themselves to death. Studies show that females survive better than males following the death of their mother.
Although the methods are quite different one thing is for sure. There’s nothing quite like a mother’s love regardless of species.
Happy mother’s day to all the amazing moms out there!