Octopus Senescence: The Beginning of the End

J Appl Anim Welf Sci. 2002;5(4):275-83. doi: 10.1207/S15327604JAWS0504_02.


Senescence is a normal stage of an octopus's life cycle that often occurs before death. Some of the following symptoms typify it: lack of feeding, retraction of skin around the eyes, uncoordinated movement, increased undirected activity, and white unhealing lesions on the body. There is inter- and intraspecific variability. Senescence is not a disease or a result of disease, although diseases can also be a symptom of it. Both males and females go through a senescent stage before dying-the males after mating, the females while brooding eggs and after the eggs hatch. There are many aspects of octopus senescence that have not yet been studied. This study discusses the ecological implications of senescence.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal*
  • Climate
  • Female
  • Life Cycle Stages / physiology*
  • Male
  • Octopodiformes / growth & development
  • Octopodiformes / physiology*