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Vampire Squids Have Unique Reproductive Strategy, Study Finds

According to latest study, vampire squids, which live in the depths of the ocean, possess a very unique reproductive strategy that differs from all other living coleoid cephalopods.

The new study, led by Henk-Jan Hoving of the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel in Germany, was published yesterday, April 20, in the journal Current Biology. The research reveals that vampire squids show evidence of multiple reproductive cycles. Instead of reproducing all at once at the end of their life cycle, these creatures rather alternate between spawning and resting phase.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Dr. Henk-Jan Hoving” author_title=”Scientist at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany”]

Their slow mode of life seems insufficient to support one big reproductive event, unlike other coleoid cephalopods. Perhaps it is therefore that vampire squid return to a gonadal resting phase after spawning, and presumably start accumulating energy for a new reproductive cycle.


After examining 40 specimens from the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum, the study authors noted that one fertile female appeared to have laid 3,800 eggs over her lifetime, but still retained 6,500 viable oocytes. The finding suggests vampire squid may live longer than shallow-water squid species, according to The New York Times.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Dr. Henk-Jan Hoving”]

We know very little about deep-sea organisms and their life-cycle patterns, in particular in the water column of the deep sea. The patterns we know from coastal and shallow-water organisms may not apply to deep-sea species. Therefore we need to enhance our knowledge of deep-sea pelagic organisms and the system they are part of, since the pelagic deep sea is the largest living space on the planet. A better understanding of this unique marine ecosystem will eventually allow for better development of management and conservation strategies.


Unrelated to the story, Immortal News published an article containing a viral video of a giant octopus trying to escape the Seattle Aquarium. Click here to read more about it and see the video.

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