A new study has brought light upon the mysterious vampire squid that lives in the depths of the ocean and their strange reproductive habits. Researchers have discovered that vampire squids live longer due to how they reproduce.
Studying the depthS of the ocean and the animals that live there, is still a challenge and humans don’t know much about many of the creatures living in those incredible conditions. The way vampire squids reproduce has always intrigued scientists and what they came across trough a recent study was quite interesting.
It appears that the vampire squids do not have enough energy to spawn all their eggs at once, meaning they are obliged to do it in a certain period of time, which could be the explanation for the fact they live longer, explained Henk-Jan Hoving from the Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research, Germany.
Studies have shown that animals that reproduce several times in their life live longer than those who only give birth once in their lifetime. This could mean that vampire squids have a much longer life than their relatives the celeoid cephalopod, which usually spawn their babies before they die.
The vampire squids take resting pauses when spawning and this behavior has been seen in different fish species that live at high depths in the ocean and the nautilus, a mollusc species. They feed with zooplankton and live up to 3000 metres deep in the ocean.
Jan-Hoving and his research team have dissected a number of 43 female vampire squids which were captured in fishing nets in the south of California. The scientists discovered that 20 of them, had spawned a number of eggs, but they still had left undeveloped egg cells that were kept for a further spawning.
For example, one of the squids had spawned 3800 eggs, according to analysis but she had still 6500 eggs left to release. Researchers have made some estimative calculations and arrived to the conclusions that the vampire squids are releasing around 100 eggs at one time, meaning that this particular female had already spawned 38 times and still had 65 times left.
Given the rough environment these animals live in, this could be an adaptation of their system which might allow them to make use of their poor in calories diet, explained Jan-Hoving.
The spawning strategy helps vampire squids to save their energy in the depths of the ocean, an environment where temperatures are very low which means that the metabolism of animals living in this place is quite slow, stated Bahadir Onsoy from the Mugla Sitki Kocman University in Turkey.
The study has been published in the Current Biology journal.
Image Source: TIPTOPTENS