At a deepness of 4,560 feet below the sea surface area, a remotely run vehicle (ROV) captured footage of a bright red deep-sea squid carrying gelatinous strings of numerous pearl-like eggs off the coast of California. The footage of the unknown species represents the 2nd time scientists have seen this genus of squid (Bathyteuthis) exhibiting brooding behavior, records Science Alert’s Michelle Star. The very first time remained in 2005 when they found a Bathyteuthis berryi holding a sheet of 360 eggs, per a statement.
While the squid shows up colossal alongside her eggs, the types’ main part of the body, called a mantle, has a length of 3 inches, reports Live Science’s Harry Baker. Bathyteuthis squid can be located worldwide and typically feed on krill.
Many female squids will reproduce by depositing egg cases on the ocean flooring or by launching eggs in a gelatinous mass that streams and drifts in open water, a statement explains. Squids do not normally brood their eggs and normally die soon after laying them, Chau Tu reported for Science Friday in 2016. So, capturing video of a squid holding its eggs is extremely rare.
Currently, just 3 squid species are recognized to brood their eggs, and while professionals may not know why, they suspect it’s to maintain the eggs from becoming a predator’s lunch and improve the hatchlings’ chances of survival. Based on these observations, biologists suspect various other deep-dwelling squids may also be brooders. Octopuses have actually been more commonly observed showing brooding behaviors, a statement discusses.
The initial kind of squid observed brooding eggs was Gonatus onyx, or the clawed arm hook squid. The species was found in Monterey Bay in 2002 using MBARI’s ROV, Tiburon. Footage of G. onyx exposed that the squid uses the hooks on its arms to bring big clusters of up to 3,000 eggs, a MBARI statement from 2006 discusses. Scientists published details on the egg cradling behavior in G. onyx in Nature in 2005. Both Bathyteuthis and Gonatus belong to divide households of squids, which suggests that brooding evolved separately and may be a typical strategy among squids in the deep ocean, per a declaration.
Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Study Institute (MBARI) captured the stunning 4K high-def footage of Bathyteuthis using the ROV Doc Ricketts. The deep-sea is challenging to study, and teams of researchers just catch glimpses of sea life while using ROVs. Recording videos such as the among the squid and her eggs show the importance of exploring deeper waters and learning about elusive species. “The deep sea is challenging to study, and we only get brief glimpses into the behaviors of deep-sea pets,” MBARI researchers say in a declaration. “Each observation logged by our ROVs provides another piece of the puzzle and assists enhance our understanding of life in the deep.”