In the marine world, birth and parenting take on different forms. For some fishes, fathers are the ones to carry their eggs to term. While others lay tens of thousands of eggs at once, making the seabed a nest. Some even keep their young in their mouth for protection. Find out how 11species of marine animals prepare for a new generation of their young.
1. Threadfin trevallies, like many pelagic fish, spawn by releasing a large number of eggs into the water.
Pelagic fish can be categorized as coastal and oceanic fish, based on the depth of the water they inhabit. Coastal pelagic fish inhabit sunlit waters up to about 655 feet deep, typically above the continental shelf.
2. Triggerfish are known to prepare seafloor nests that will house tens of thousands of eggs at one time.
Be careful around the nests because the Triggerfish can be very protective and would charge or bite intruders.
3. Some corals release eggs into the water during mass spawning events, once (sometimes twice) a year.
Corals rely on a number of cues, such as temperature, lunar and daily cycles, to ensure male and female gametes meet.
4. Male Seadragons carry eggs in a brood patch which is found under their tail.
When male leafy seadragons reach maturity, their tails get swollen and turn pink and red during specific breeding times.
5. Zebra sharks lay eggs surrounded by a protective case known as a “mermaid’s purse”.
The egg case has hair-like fibres along the sides which allows it to anchor to surfaces.
6. Horn sharks lay spiral shaped egg cases which allow them to be secured within crevices.
The female shark would leave the egg after laying them. It takes seven to ten months for the Horn shark to hatch.
7. A deep-sea Octopus has broken all previous records, guarding her eggs for over four years.
The female Octopus dies when the eggs hatch because she protects her eggs until the end.
8. Young Nurse sharks develop inside an egg case within the mother’s ovary.
Since there is no placenta in the mother nurse shark’s ovary, the pups feed on the egg’s yolk. They also eat any unfertilized eggs and sometimes each other.
9. African cichlids protect their eggs by holding them in their mouth, they are known as “mouthbrooders”.
Even after the eggs hatch, the mother still keeps the young in her mouth for protection.
10. Male Damselfish are protective and guard eggs until they hatch.
He cares for the eggs by fanning water across them with his fins and even eating dead eggs to prevent the growth of fungus and bacteria. The eggs hatch in seven days.
11. A female Whale shark was found to have 300 embryos inside her at one time.
The female whale shark may have the ability to store sperm for later fertilization. Female whale sharks give birth to live young about 40 to 60 cm long.
Join the Eggtopus Easter Trail
You’ll find these animal facts on the Eggtopus Easter Trail! Check out the other activities available at Ocean Eggsploration until 17 April 2016.
Here are our past adventure trails at the Aquarium:
- 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac, underwater version (2016)
- What kids will learn on the Merry Fishmas activity trail (2015)
- Learn and play on the Spooky Seas trail (2015)
- Go on Merry Fishmas Adventure Trail (2014)
- Explore Spooky Seas adventure trail (2014)
- Go on a Manta Adventure Trail (2014)
- Let’s go on a Shark Adventure Trail (2014)