VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A Virginia aquarium captured a mesmerizing moment on video: the birth of many baby octopuses as they hatch from their eggs.
The Caribbean Reef Octopus at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach laid her eggs in her exhibit sometime between two and three months ago.
One by one, the video captured by the animal care team at the aquarium shows the octopuses breaking free from the strand of eggs and swimming off. Inside the eggs, the eyes of several octopuses can still be seen as they wait to hatch.
"It is common for octopuses to lay over one hundred eggs in its clutch to ensure at least one makes it to adulthood," the aquarium posted along with its video.
The eggs began to hatch on February 6 late in the afternoon, and the care team continues to take care of them.
The mother octopus does not care for the babies after they hatch, because laying eggs is an end of life stage for this species of octopus, said Matthew Klepeisz of the Virginia Aquarium.
This species of octopus usually lives from one to 1 1/2 years.
Right now, the babies have been eating mysid shrimp and eating steadily since their arrival, the aquarium says. "We expect them to gain about 5% of their body weight daily (which is incredible!)" said the aquarium.
In all, there are between 25-30 babies, and there are still eggs that could possibly hatch, the aquarium said.