Photo of the Week

John Christy, 2004

Photographer: John Christy

Location: Culebra Marine Exhibition Center

Year: 2004

A giant limpet Siphonaria gigas (the bumps on its shell are barnacles) watching over approximately 75,000 eggs that "she" has just laid in a coiled jelly ribbon in a small pool of water on the rocks at Punta Culebra. They are laid during the neap tides when they will be covered by the sea for the least amount of time before they hatch in about 5 days. This helps protect the embryos from being eaten by small fish. S. gigas is a hermaphrodite, both male and female at the same time, but they don't fertilize their own eggs. So this one is a proud "father" too, but of the embryos in some other limpet's jelly ribbon.

 
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