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Born Like Stars: An egg-brooding squid and its hatchlings

In this archive video captured by Tiburon, a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), we see the first footage of baby squid being hatched into the deep sea — their native habitat of around 1,500 to 2,500 meters (about 5,000-7,000 feet) deep — as its mother broods around 3,000 eggs in a huge cluster. Video of this Gonatus onyx cephalopod was uploaded in 2011 by filmmaker Brent Hoff, but was witnessed as early as 2002.

egg-brooding squid

Reproduction is one of the many challenges faced by deep-sea animals. In recent years, submersibles have allowed scientists to explore the lives of deep-sea animals in ways that were not possible before. One of the many exciting discoveries was that a mother of the deep-sea squid species Gonatus onyx broods her eggs by holding them in her arms, a behavior that had never been previously reported for squids. This shocking discovery was the first time scientists had evidence of parental care in squids. In 2012, a team of researchers led by Stephanie Bush, reported finding another species of deep-sea squid that broods eggs, Bathyteuthis berryi, suggesting that this form of parental care may be a common solution to a reproductive problem for deep-sea squids.

Here’s a narrated MBARI video from 2014 that provides more info:

Pelagic derived from Greek πέλαγος (pélagos), meaning ‘open sea’.

Watch more from the deep sea, more MBARI, and more cephalopods, including the case of the green-eyed squid, the strange and amazing barreleye fish, and this deep-sea octopus protecting her eggs for four and a half years.

h/t Laughing Squid.

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