|Juvenile wolf eel explores her barnacle surroundings|
|Barbara, the giant Pacific octopus|
|A few of our crazy workers in their temporary home |
(sometimes we think they never leave the aquarium). We're happy to have our high school students, Flynn and Aquila on board with us. From l-r: Dave, Marlie, Laura, Flynn, Acquila
|A school of shiner perch swimming by|
Within a few weeks the expecting females will look about ready to explode with their little babies. In preparation for the mass birthing, we're planning to relocate our mothers from any potential baby eaters, such as black rockfish, predators capable of turning the miracle of life into a smorgasbord! Of course, such is the way of life in the ocean and we can't protect all our newborns from the wonders of natural selection. The babies, 1 ¼” miniature version of their parents, are born so well developed that they practically swim out of their mothers. The males are also born reproductively mature with females maturing only a few weeks later. Cool, hey!
Just recently we’ve also found some Opalescent squid (Loligo opalescens) eggs which look about ready to hatch. The mating ritual of these fast swimming cephalods is not quite as romantic as that of the perch; instead, the male will aggressively grab the female and deposit his sperm packet (using his hectocotylized third right arm) inside the mantle of the female. The female then lays dozens of large egg capsules shaped like gelatinous cigars, each containing 180-300 eggs! The eggs develop directly and, after about three to five weeks, hatch, but the adults die shortly after spawning. These little squidlets aren’t left entirely unprotected though; the egg capsules have no taste or odor, so they are not perceived by food as predators! We’re looking forward to having a tank full of swimming squids soon.
|A cluster of squid eggs|