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O-fish-ally The Best Moms

Posted on May 14, 2017 by in Education, Species Highlights


The female lays about six to eight eggs in a very secluded group of trees. Usually, it can find a very safe hollow within the roots, visible only by careful observation. These eggs are undeveloped, and are only about half a nailsbreadth in width. There are usually many more female eggs than male eggs, about a two to one ratio.

As soon as the eggs are hatched, the male leaves and the females are left to take care of the newborns. This process sounds difficult, but because of the rapid rate at which they mature, only about a month to reach full size, the mother is actually not unduly challenged. They must be very carefully as to not aggravate a female by not checking to make sure the tissue between their anal fins is still intact. This is almost never a problem, but if it does happen the female will answer by fiercely by blowing water in the face of the male.

Giant Pacific Octopus

Giant Pacific Octopus has one successful brood in her lifetime. After mating, a female will lay up to 74,000 eggs or more in a deep den or cave and live there for seven months watching over them. During this time, dedicated mothers won’t venture out for food, and shortly after the young hatch, the mother will die.

Banggai Cardinal fish

The female spawns a mass of up to 75 large eggs (a very small number for a marine fish). These are quickly swallowed by the male, and brooded in a special pouch inside the mouth. A unique feature of these cardinal fish is their manner of mouth brooding reproduction. Typically cardinalfish incubate their eggs orally until they hatch, at which point the fry swim away and enter the water column. Females aggressively defend its territory by immediately chasing any intruders that approach the brooding male.


Young stingray pups hatch from eggs inside the female and are released from her body alive. Its reproduction period is June through October. Cownose rays typically produce one pup per pregnancy, though there have been reports of six concurrent embryos in a female.