A team of researchers decided to study a rare species of squid known as the vampire squid, but since it lives at 10,000 feet deep in the ocean, the scientists had to observe the squid using old photos.
They discovered that the vampire squid has some weird reproductive habits that are very different from other species of cephalopods.
According to the experts, the vampire squid doesn’t really swim when it’s 1,600 to 9,800 ft underwater. It actually moves by floating in the water.
The squid feeds mostly on zooplankton and other small organisms that drift in the deep oceans.
Scientists believe that because of its “relaxed” lifestyle, the vampire squid has a different mating habit, compared to other cephalopods.
According to the zoologists, most species f cephalopods mate only once, and that happens later in life.
They discovered that the mating rituals of vampire squid resemble more those done by fish, meaning that they alternate between mating and relaxation periods.
The researchers believe that they are doing this so that they can save energy for future mating sessions.
Henk-Jan Hoving, a researcher at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, explained that little is known about the life cycle patterns of organisms that live deep into the sea.
The information they have on organisms that live in coastal shallow waters may not apply to these species of deep-sea creatures.
Hoving and his team examined photos of the vampire squid taken in the 1960s and the 1970s and noticed that several female squids had previously released their eggs but had stopped carrying or even developing new ones.
This made the scientists believe that the cephalopods were actually in the resting period after reproducing. This is actually very uncommon for most species of cephalopods, as per the experts.
The scientists examined more than 40 female vampire squid before reaching this conclusion.
Researchers found that one of the female vampire squid they were studying was carrying approximately 6,500 oocytes, which are reproductive germ cells, despite the fact that the squid had already released almost 3,800 eggs.
According to the study, the vampire squid releases approximately 100 eggs during one spawning session. The scientists believe that the female of this species have sexual relations approximately 100 times in the course of their lives, compared with other species of squid which only mate once in their life time.
The findings of the new study were published in the journal Current Biology.
Image Source: thesilverink.