Sun. May 26th, 2024

Family Pet Octopus has 50 Babies, father and son take care of them all

 

Oklahoma family documents journey as pet octopus has 50 babies

 

Just two months after the family had welcomed their new pet, Terrance,

she began laying several eggs

One Oklahoma family is growing after its pet octopus laid 50 eggs late last year, according to the Clifford family’s TikTok account @doctoktupus.

In October, Cameron Clifford, lovingly dubbed “octodad,” bought his son an adult female Bimac Octopus from California and named her Terrance. In December, Terrance laid 50 eggs that began hatching in February.

Clifford has been documenting the family’s journey on TikTok.

Boy’s pet octopus shocks family by giving birth to 50 babies

“Surprising my son with an aquarium so he can fulfill a lifelong dream of owning a pet octopus,” Clifford wrote in a March video as his son tearfully thanked him for the surprise.

Terrance arrived at the family’s home in a clear plastic bag inside of a styrofoam box. The following videos on their account show the Clifford family setting up and taking care of Terrance’s new home.

“Terrance is one social cephalopod—she requires lots of daily stimulation/attention to stay healthy and happy” one of the videos is captioned.

Just two months after the family had welcomed Terrance, she began laying several eggs. According to the University of Chicago, a mother octopus lays her eggs and then begins to stop eating, causing her to die before her offspring is born.

On March 26, the Cliffords posted an update saying they expected Terrance to die in the following weeks. Much to their surprise, Terrance is still thriving.

“We had always stayed in constant contact with our bimac experts, one of which had cared for dozens of bimacs through the years, and none of them had ever laid fertile eggs,” the family explained in a clip. “Even educational and research facilities struggle with hatching them in captivity but this occurred 3 feet from my son’s bed in Central Oklahoma,” the post continued.

Soon enough, Terrance’s tank was full of octopus toddlers.

Their video diary chronicles the lengths the Clifford parents went to take care of Terrance and her offspring, including extensive research.

Although not all 50 hatchlings were able to survive, the family welcomed Pearl, Melinda, Jay-Sea, Sea-yonceeé, Rocket Larry, and a few others to their growing family.

Terrance continues to be fed by hand for now while the babies stay with a local reptile scientist, Clifford told the New York Post.

The family is looking for professional care for the hatchlings. source


Terrance the octopus came to live with a family. Then she laid dozens of eggs

 

Angelina Komatovich

It’s not all that unusual to see octopus on a restaurant menu. But an octopus as a family pet?

Cameron Clifford of Edmond, Okla. says his 9-year-old son Cal is a huge fan of the eight-legged creatures.

“One of the funny things, the misconceptions I think that people assume, is that this was kind of like a flavor of the week for my son, you know, and we’re kind of just these parents that will placate him with any material thing,” Clifford told NPR. “But he’s a real bright kid and he has absolutely loved octopuses since he was, like, 2 years old.”

So Clifford decided to investigate, and learned that it was possible to order an octopus from the local aquarium store.

When Cal came home from school to find all of the equipment it would take to house a pet octopus, he was completely overcome. Clifford filmed the response and posted it to TikTok, starting a journey the family would continue to document.

After days of calibrating the water in an enormous tank to be sure it could support a cephalopod, the two-spot octopus they named Terrance arrived.

Angelina Komatovich is a marine biologist at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, Calif., who has taken care of octopuses professionally.

“When I first heard of Terrance the octopus, I was actually very surprised to find out that there was a two-spot octopus living all the way across the country in Oklahoma,” she told NPR. “But in that aquarium, they had everything that they needed. They had the cold water. They had a nice sized aquarium for this octopus to live in. But it was really cool to see that this octopus was sourced from a reputable place and being very well taken care of.”

Though the Clifford family was as prepared as possible to welcome Terrance, there was one thing they missed. It turns out Terrance was pregnant. And she laid dozens of eggs.

Terrance’s family has grown considerably.

Cameron Clifford

Now Clifford and Cal, with help from a friend, are taking care of more than 20 tiny octopus babies, along with Terrance. They need around-the-clock care, and even then, Komatovich says, few are likely to survive.

“Only one or two of these would be expected to live into adulthood in an aquarium setting under perfect conditions,” she said. “But that’s a lot of octopuses for one family to take care of.”

Terrance is doing well after launching her many offspring, but the Clifford family isn’t taking that for granted. Once a two-spot octopus lays her eggs, she typically won’t live much longer.

The jury is still out on whether one of Terrance’s babies will become a permanent member of the Clifford household.

But come what may, Komatovich believes Cal has a bright future ahead of him.

“I definitely see a future marine biologist right there. And it’s so exciting to see someone so young interested in cephalopods,” she said. source


Boy’s pet octopus shocks family by giving birth to 50 babies

EDMOND, Okla. (CNN) – An Oklahoma boy had dreamed of owning an octopus since he was 2, but when his dream became reality, he suddenly ended up with 50 of them when his pet gave birth.

Cal Clifford, 9, cried with joy when his parents gave him the tank he would soon use to hold his new pet octopus. The octopus itself was delivered in a plastic bag to the family.

Cal and his family named the octopus Terrance, and their whole experience with their new pet was documented on TikTok.

“Terrance loves to welcome us every time we visit her. High-eight,” said Cal in a video on TikTok.

Within weeks, Cal’s dad, Cameron Clifford, says the family found out that the octopus was a female.

This undated photo taken by Cameron Clifford, shows Terrance, the pet octopus his son Cal...
This undated photo taken by Cameron Clifford, shows Terrance, the pet octopus his son Cal adopted at their home in Edmond, Okla. The family soon learned that Terrance was female as she laid 50 eggs that later hatched, with nearly half of them surviving. (Cameron Clifford via AP)(AP)

Terrance, newly redubbed Terry, started acting weird, such as not leaving the cave in her tank, the family said on TikTok. They then noticed she had laid eggs, but no one imagined they’d been fertilized.

“The uh-oh moment was definitely when the first one hatched,” Clifford said.

Suddenly, one octopus had become many. Cal got emotional as he took a first look at the hatchlings – 50 in total. Each baby had to be cared for in a separate container.

“The babies will actually cannibalize each other,” Clifford said.

They were given names like Rocket Larry, Squid Cudi, Swim Shady, Jay-Sea and Sea-Yoncé, according to the Associated Press.

The family learned that octopuses make for expensive pets. Leaks in the tank system required vacuuming carpets and re-laying ruined floors.

“I wish my son’s favorite animal had been a hamster,” said Clifford in a TikTok video.

Almost half of the baby octopuses survived, and they are destined for educational institutions.

Sadly, Terry died just a few months later and was buried in the Cliffords’ backyard. It’s typical for her species of octopus that the mom dies after laying eggs.

Octopuses generally live between one to five years, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. source