Mother squid carries hundreds of eggs under the sea in rare scene; watch video | biodiversity

There is much life in the vast ocean beyond what our eyes can see. To reach the deepest regions of the seas, researchers use remotely operated vehicles, which can “see” where humans cannot.

Among the glimpses of deep marine life brought to light by this technology, one scene in particular enchanted the research team at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), during explorations off the coast of California (USA).

More than a thousand meters deep, where the sunlight cannot be perceived and darkness takes over, the robot recorded the image as rare as it is poetic: a bright red squid carrying strings with hundreds of pearl-like eggs.

Check out the video of this rare moment that was captured by high resolution cameras:

Possibly in a strategy to protect the brood from predators, the squid wrapped the embryos in a gelatinous mucus and carried them with it, rather than laying the eggs directly on the seafloor or releasing the gelatinous mass into the waters, as most of these do. animals.

Only three species of squid are known to rear their young closely. Because of this, biologists suspect that other deep-sea squids may also be “hatchers”.

There are other hypotheses: carrying the young would be a form of the squid, belonging to the genus bathyteuthis, ensure they stay in water with the right temperature, salinity and oxygen levels.

Regardless of the reasons, carrying the litter is an act of sacrifice. Like octopuses, squid are semelparous – animals that only reproduce once in a lifetime before dying.

So, the protection and care that the mother squid mobilizes to ensure the survival of her offspring is one of her final acts. Scenes like this show the urgency of conserving marine life.

“The deep ocean is a challenge to study, and we only have brief glimpses of the behaviors of deep-sea animals. […] Each observation provides a piece of the puzzle and helps improve our understanding of life in the depths,” the researchers said.

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