Few octopuses have flamboyant mating rituals. An octopus has a hectocotylus, which is a modified arm covered in rows of sperm. Some octopus species mate by inserting the arm directly into the female octopus’s oviduct, and other species detach the arm and give it to the female to use when she’s ready to fertilize the eggs she’s already laid. Male octopuses die a few months after mating and females die shortly after their eggs hatch. The female octopus guards her eggs until they hatch; she stops looking for food and blows the eggs clean whenever they get dirty. It can take anywhere from two to 10 months for the eggs to incubate, depending on species and temperature.
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