Ralph Pace dips below the surface of the Pacific Ocean to capture thousands of California Market Squids returning to Monterey Bay in huge numbers to copulate and deposit egg capsules on the seafloor. Typically the adults die shortly after spawning so this is the time they are harvested by local fisherfolk.
Females encapsulate hundreds of eggs in a sheath that is made of many layers of protein. Bacteria grow between the layers and may serve as an antibiotic for fungal infection. Males deposit spermatophores into females during mating embraces which may last for several hours. The eggs are fertilized as females release them in about 20 egg cases per individual, with each case containing about 200 individual eggs.
Females insert the egg capsules into the sand with a sticky substance that anchors them in place so that the ocean surge can ventilate them. Some egg beds can cover acres of the ocean floor and dominant males are known to stick around and protect the beds!