Squid are pretty much everywhere in the ocean, and they are especially common in the deep sea.
As far as we know, at least! As we've mentioned before, the deep sea is still mostly mysterious to us. That's what happens when you're talking about an environment that is almost freezing and in 24-hour darkness.
But fortunately, we've got researchers like the ones at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). We've featured a few videos from them before, and with good reason. Their submersible cameras have captured incredible footage of this almost alien undersea world and the magnificent creatures that call it home.
Today, we want to share a view into family life, deep-sea style! It is of a squid mommy carrying around an egg sac filled with hundreds of potential new squid kids. Come on, we're going for a ride nearly 1,400 metres (4,560 feet) deep!
When an egg-laying animal stays with and watches over its eggs, it is known as brooding. The animals that we think about most when it comes to brooding are birds. Most species will sit on a nest of eggs, rarely leaving it, so that the eggs stay warm and safe from predators.
Plenty of other egg-layers will simply leave their eggs behind, laying dozens, hundreds, even thousands, and hoping that a few will survive. This is especially true of aquatic animals. Because let's face it, it's pretty hard to 'sit' on a nest of eggs when everything is floating around in the water!
But a few other aquatic animals display their own version of brooding. And this includes some species of squid.
The deep sea squid in this video (which belongs to the genus, or group, Bathyteuthis) is one of those. It uses a leaf-shaped egg sac to carry around its hundreds of eggs. Check out mommy at work below!
Isn't that beautiful? All those little eggs (which look just like tapioca pearls in bubble tea!) being carried around by mom! What should we make of this behaviour?
Scientists still understand so little about deep sea squids, but this mother is clearly taking a step to improve the safety of her young in a very harsh habitat. Keep in mind that the only reason that we can even see this is because of the light from the submersible camera. There is no natural light at this depth. Even if they haven't hatched yet, we're sure that these little eggs are grateful to have their mom around!
Wow! It’s so beautiful!