Hormonal inhibition of feeding and death in octopus: control by optic gland secretion

Science. 1977 Dec 2;198(4320):948-51. doi: 10.1126/science.198.4320.948.


Female Octopus hummelincki lays eggs, broods them, reduces its food intake, and dies after the young hatch. Removal of both optic glands after spawning results in cessation of broodiness, resumption of feeding, increased growth, and greatly extended life-span. Optic gland secretions may cause death of most cephalopods and may function to control population size.