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Fourth echelon

Aptly named vampire squids enjoy long lives in the dark

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KIEL, Germany, April 20 (UPI) -- Unlike most soft-bodied cephalopods, which produce and release their eggs all at once (usually right before they die), deep-water vampire squids release their eggs in stages -- a hundred here, a hundred there.

Researchers say their unique reproductive behavior is evidence that vampire squids likely live longer lives than their shallower peers.

A team of researchers from Germany's Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research recently captured and dissected 43 vampire squids netted off the coast of Southern California. Nearly half of the specimens were found to have already released several hundred eggs, while still having several hundred more immature eggs.

The evidence, researchers say, suggests the rarely studied vampire squid enjoys multiple reproductive cycles. One female squid was found have released 3,800 eggs, with a remaining reserve of 6,500 left.

ugly bugger



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