The deep oceans are full of strange and mysterious rarely-seen creatures. They swim unobserved in the pitch-black darkness of the deep, cold waters and no one really knows anything about their behaviors.
When scientists get a chance to study one of these reclusive marine creatures they feel like they’ve hit the jackpot.
This is the case with the strange-looking species of cephalopod known as the vampire squid.
According to the scientists involved in studying this marine creature, the vampire squid lives a longer life than other species of cephalopods do in shallow waters.
The team of scientists led by Henk-Jan Hoving, a researcher at the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, has discovered the secret behind the vampire squid’s longer life.
The researchers published what they found in the scientific journal Current Biology.
According to their findings, the vampire squid has a unique way of reproducing, which helps them live longer than any other cephalopods.
The scientists explained that some species of squid release all the eggs at once, in one burst. However, other deep-sea species that live at almost 10,000 feet below the surface of the ocean spawn their eggs in numerous reproductive sessions.
This means that deep-sea squids live a different life than the species that swim in shallow waters. Hoving and his team studied the vampire squid species at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History to understand the animal’s habits of feeding and spawning.
The researchers found that, compared to other species of squid, the female vampire squid can actually spawn its eggs more than 100 times in a lifetime.
Hoving explains that the vampire squid alternate the reproductive phase with the resting period. The researchers found that one of the female squid they studied spawned more than 3,800 eggs in its lifetime and could still produce more eggs because it had approximately 6,500 oocytes left.
The vampire squids live a slower life than other cephalopods that live in shallow-waters, which are known to live an average of two years.
But because the metabolism of the vampire squid is very slow, it makes them have different reproductive cycles.
This peculiar species of squid doesn’t hunt for its prey in an active manner, instead it feeds on plankton that is very easy to catch. They also rely on fewer calories, compared to other cephalopods.
The experts believe that the vampire squid doesn’t have the necessary energy to lay all its eggs in one cycle. Because of this, it can live a lot longer than its relatives.
Image Source: benchmarkreporter