The mystery of giant sea spider reproduction has finally been solved the animals

Researchers at the University of Hawaii placed mating sea spiders in an aquarium to observe them. Normally, female sea spiders lay eggs, which are fertilized externally. In many species, the eggs are attached to the legs of the male. The males then carry them until the eggs hatch. But in the case of giant Antarctic sea spiders, the male spent two days securing thousands of eggs on the rocky bottom. There the eggs develop for several months until small larvae appear.

“The strange thing: despite research going back more than 140 years, no one had ever seen giant spiders hatching babies in Antarctica, and no one knew anything about their evolution,” explains lead researcher Amy Moran. It turns out the little guy knew what he was doing. A few weeks after laying the eggs, they were surrounded by microscopic algae, a perfect camouflage for the eggs to continue developing.

What are sea spiders?

“Sea spiders, or pycnogonids, are a group of arachnid invertebrates found in marine habitats throughout the world,” explains the University of Hawaii. Most of these subspecies do not exceed one centimeter in size, but there are specimens up to 30 centimeters long.

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Denton Watson

"Friend of animals everywhere. Evil twitter fan. Pop culture evangelist. Introvert."

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