You won’t believe the amazing mothering adaptations that some species of squid have evolved
Most marine invertebrates and fish release their eggs into the ocean and let them take their chances. For example, an ocean sunfish can release up to 300 million eggs at a time. With that many offspring, a good number are likely to survive. It’s logical really. Some animals, however, aren’t willing to take that chance.
At least three species of squid show brooding behaviour. Gonatus onyx is the star of this video, a squid that lives up to 2.4 kilometres (1.5 miles) below the ocean’s surface. The water at this depth has a lower oxygen content than water at the surface due to the absence of light. Mother squid carry their eggs, but also pump water around them to keep the precious eggs healthy.
This behaviour was first documented by a research team in 2005. The eggs are held in a membrane between the mother’s arms, and she supplies them with water by undulating her arms. This gives every single one of her tiny babies a chance of survival. Watch the footage below to see the miniature baby squid.
The mother squid doesn’t appear until around three minutes in, so skip ahead if you want.
Image from flickr.com/photos/rling