|fusitriton cancellatus snail w eggs|
|dorid nudibranch eggs|
In North Pacific waters, it's quite shocking to see your first moon snail egg mass. It looks like a dun-coloured used tire cast off by some heedless boater. The colour is the result of eggs being inserted into a mass of sand which the snail has ingested and extruded into this amazing circular tire shape.
|Wellington nudibranch egg mass|
|A pair of Wellington nudibranchs mating|
We humans find it difficult enough to bring up a couple of children - just think of the poor female octopus. After reaching maturity, she receives a sperm packet from a male, heads off over a period of time (up to a month), selects a suitable den, and - taking up to 42 days to accomplish the feat - lays up to 68,000 eggs. Then - in an act of complete martyrdom - she fans and tends her eggs for 9 months until they hatch. In all this time since her virginal act of accepting the eggs, she doesn't eat. Some time after they're hatched, she starves to death, having achieved maternity only once.
|moon snail egg mass (in British Columbia)|
We often saw at least two egg masses (the varying colours of the eggs helped to distinguish how many there were). Each dive team left a distinctively coloured marble to alert other teams as to whether the particular cave had already been accounted for.
For the male lingcod, the female just takes off and leaves him to it.
For an even more engaged - and engaging - male, we female humans should point our prospective mates to seahorse males. They take in and incubate all the eggs in their own bodies until they're ready to hatch.
Seahorses are beautiful AND they make the most amazing fathers!
At 2017-10-22 13:58 (utc) our position was 50°11.64'S 074°49.39'W