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Fish Egg Buffet
Video courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Windows to the Deep 2019. Download larger version (mp4, 84.9 MB).

During Dive 13, at 920 meters (3,018 feet) depth, we came upon a Chaceon crab perched above a white patch on the seafloor. A closer look revealed the patch to be a cluster of hundreds of eggs, proposed to have been deposited on the rock by a pallid sculpin. As we watched, the crab plucking eggs from the pile with its major chelipeds (clawed legs) and eating them. Furthermore, we observed dozens of amphipods (distant crustacean relatives of the crab) clinging to and crawling over the crab’s mouthparts.

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