Common market squid
NOT ON EXHIBIT
Market squid have mating orgies. Thousands of squid swarm into shallow waters—such as those of Monterey Bay—grasping at one another. The females then lay many cylindrical capsules, each containing 180 to 300 eggs. After mating, the adults die.
Small juvenile squid hatch from the eggs in three to five weeks. No one knows where they then go, but they return to the same place to spawn and die about three years later.
Until recently, market squid supported the largest fishery in Monterey Bay (by tonnage). By 1996, the sardine fishery far surpassed it. What caused this change in the squid fishery? We don't know for sure.
The market squid is probably the most abundant cephalopod along the central coast of California. In the spring and fall, they enter Monterey Bay in huge schools to spawn. They deposit their eggs on shallow mud flats and the sandy seafloor, then die.