Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Squid Parenting Skills

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Squid Parenting Skills

Article excerpt

Squid have always been considered poor parents: They lay their eggs on the seafloor and leave them to develop on their own. But a University of Rhode Island (URI) scientist has made the first observation of parental care by squid when he used a remotely operated underwater vehicle in the deep sea to watch as five squid each carried thousands of eggs in their arms.

"Our finding is unexpected because this behavior differs from the reproductive habits of all other known squid species," says Brad Seibel, a URI assistant professor of biological sciences who collaborated with colleagues at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute on the discovery. The observations are reported in Nature.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Gonatus onyx is one of the most abundant species of squid in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, but because it spawns at great depths it has been difficult to observe its reproductive behaviors. Spectacular video and photographic images captured by Seibel show the squid transporting a tubular pouch of some 2,000 to 3,000 eggs attached to hooks under its arms (see picture p. …

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