FunNature & AnimalThey record a female squid transporting her eggs to...

They record a female squid transporting her eggs to protect them

Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute didn’t know what they were going to find when they recently dove into the deep waters of California’s Monterey Bay. What they saw (and recorded) was a rare sight: a deep-sea squid of the genus Bathyteuthis wearing a delicate lace-like sheet with hundreds of eggs as it swam.

The use of remote-controlled technology has allowed scientists to discover a whole new world in the harsh darkness, deep within the Sun’s rays. The new images were obtained on a dive with ROV Doc Ricketts, which is equipped with 4K cameras for high-resolution images of any creatures that might be found in the deep.

While this is unusual, it is not the first time that scientists have observed a female squid of the genus Bathyteuthis swimming at a depth of 1,390 meters while carrying a sheet of eggs. The first time they saw another specimen doing the same thing was in 2005, when they detected, also in Monterey Bay, another Bathyteuthis squid mother carrying a sheet with 360 embedded eggs.

Octopuses are famous for taking care of their eggs and protecting them to death. Breeding is therefore common among deep-sea octopuses. However, this behavior is rare in squid , which deposit egg cases on the seafloor or release them in a gelatinous mass that drifts in open water. Furthermore, carrying the eggs requires more energy from the mother and increases the risk of predation.

The breeding behavior observed in Bathyteuthis specimens has also been detected in three other species of squid . Scientists believe that these nursing mothers carry the eggs until they hatch to increase their young’s chances of survival. They are also convinced that there may be more squid in the deep ocean that follow this breeding method.

Squids, like octopuses, only reproduce once in their life before they die . This means that protecting her eggs so they can grow into a new generation of squid is probably one of this mommy squid’s last acts.

The researchers say that videos like this demonstrate the importance of continuing to explore deeper waters . “The deep ocean is difficult to study and we only get brief insights into the behaviors of deep-sea animals,” the researchers wrote in the description of the video posted on their YouTube channel on July 6. “Each observation recorded by our ROVs provides another piece of the puzzle and helps improve our understanding of life in the deep.”

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