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On the Wild Side: Strange news from the World of Wildlife!

Common Atlantic Octopus
credit: Beckmannjan/CCSA

No Picnic

It's time to honor Mom -- and offer thanks, too. Because it's no picnic being a mom. The job requires more than its fair share of sacrifice. Just ask an octopus or a dolphin.

A female common octopus likes to keep its eggs within reach, so it attaches them -- almost 50,000 -- to the roof of its den. And the octopus remains with these eggs for the month or two that it takes for them to hatch. It removes particles that settle on the eggs. It fends off predators. But because the octopus doesn't leave its den, it never ventures out to look for food. So after the eggs hatch, the mother octopus often dies.

As for the dolphin, it refuses to abandon its kids, even when faced with death. If a young dolphin becomes trapped in a fishing net, its mother will stay by its side, risking and sometimes sacrificing its life in an effort to protect its young.

Click here to learn more about the common octopus.