Deep-sea squid carries her eggs to keep them safe from predators

For most squid species, after mating, the females deposit egg cases on the seafloor or release eggs in a gelatinous mass that drifts in open water. While exploring the depths of Monterey Bay, MBARI researchers encountered a deep-sea squid (Bathyteuthis sp.) grasping hundreds of eggs in her arms—only the second time we have spotted a brooding Bathyteuthis in over 17 years! This squid mom was spotted at 1,390 meters (4,560 feet) deep more than 90 kilometers (56 miles) offshore of MBARI’s facilities in Moss Landing, California. The stunning ultra high-definition 4K video from the remotely operated vehicle Doc Ricketts allowed researchers to examine the pelagic parent in astounding detail. Brooding is common among bottom-dwelling octopuses, but we have only observed this behavior in three squid species. Researchers suspect other deep-dwelling squids may also turn out to be brooders.

Mapping the Arctic seafloor

Researchers observe rapid changes to the seafloor as submerged permafrost thaws.