Our actions as humans is taking it’s toll on the world, but the cephalopods are doing better than ever.
According to a group of researchers, cephalopods have always had a record of being resilient in times of change in their environment, but there’s evidence that the population of cephalopods has increased greatly over the last 60 years.
The team is led by Zoë A. Doubleday, a Doctor of Marine Biology at the University Of Adelaide, and in order to investigate the numbers in cephalopod abundance, she and her team members studied the global database of the catch rates of cephalopods for decades. Their research of the data shows that cephalopods, of 35 cephalopod species in representing six different families across the globe, are steadily growing.
Why? Like rats and other rodents, cephalopods are highly adaptable, a trait that they owe their lengthy presence on Earth too. Rising water temperatures leads the animals to breed more, and the birth rate seems to be rising right along with the rising temperature of the sea. Most animals affected by climate change are hurt by it, so it was a surprising find. Octopi and all their close cousins eat up to 30% of their body weight a day, and they’re carnivores. This could be a big problem for ocean ecosystems.
“It is a difficult, but important, question to answer, as it may tell us an even bigger story about how human activities are changing the ocean,” Doubleday says.
- Zoë A. Doubleday, Thomas A.A. Prowse, Alexander Arkhipkin, Graham J. Pierce, Jayson Semmens, Michael Steer, Stephen C. Leporati, Sílvia Lourenço, Antoni Quetglas, Warwick Sauer, Bronwyn M. Gillanders. Global proliferation of cephalopods. Current Biology, 2016 DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2016.04.002