Squid Egg Mass

This diamondback squid washed up on a beach in Hawaii. Flickr: Forest and Kim Starr

Squid Egg Mass

Squid egg mass discovered by divers in ocean currents in Great Barrier Reef

Posted on 03.10.2019

Incredible vision of a what appears to be a giant slinky has been captured on the Great Barrier Reef in Far North Queensland.

The 2-metre long mass of squid eggs was filmed off Cape Tribulation, north of Cairns, by dive company Ocean Safari.

Manager Kellie Roberts said staff member Brooke Nikora filmed the rare video. CLICK to Watch Video

“At first we didn’t even know what we were looking at,” Ms Roberts said.

“It took us a while and some research to find out what we were seeing and it turns out they were squid eggs.

“It’s not something that we have ever been privileged enough to see in our day-to-day operations.”

James Cook University squid expert Dr Blake Spady said the eggs were likely laid by a diamondback squid.

“Unlike inshore species that attach their eggs to structures, open-ocean species like this often have a pelagic [free-floating] egg mass,” Dr Blake said.

He estimated there were around 40,000 eggs in the “slinky-like” mass.

“The core of the structure would be a very gelatinous feeling to it and the eggs would be much the same,” he said.

He said the species had a short lifespan and the female would have died not long after laying the eggs.

“They have a very interesting life strategy, which is to live fast and die young,” he said.

“After one mating event — that’s it. They lay their eggs and die.”

The Queensland Museum said the species, whose body can span a metre and the tentacles a metre longer, produces long “sausage-like” floating egg masses.

The squid is a very strong swimmer and is even known to occasionally jump into boats.

Kristy Sexton-McGrath
ABC News





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