Introduction: Passionate (01:28)
The Pacific Ocean is the largest on Earth; survival is the goal of all its inhabitants, but propagation occurs in various ways.
Great White Sharks (08:16)
Off Guadalupe Island, Doctor Mauricio Hoyos hopes to discover evidence of Great White Shark mating habits; its beaches boast a large seal population, providing ample food for resident males. In fall, females arrive, migrating thousands of miles; males and females are rarely found together anywhere else. Scientists discuss clasper extension as a signal of male readiness, and female head scars as proof of previous copulation; pregnant sharks skip the event, and give birth off the Mexican coast.
Wolf Eels (03:30)
The Wolf Eel crushes and fills up on its prey before returning to its lair and partner; they pair at age four and remain monogamous for up to 20 years. After meeting, they find a retreat and propagate, producing ten thousand eggs per breeding. A parent guards the brood until they hatch and drift out on the current.
Yellow Eyed Penguins (04:32)
Rare Yellow Eyed Penguins dive up to 200 times a day for food, then walk home; the species prefers forest dwelling, where mates and chicks eagerly await their provider’s return. Partners elaborately greet one another with calls, reinforcing bonds. For 150 days, parents take turns fishing and protecting young; after the offspring leaves, their partnership dissolves until next mating season.
Sea Otters (03:23)
After determining a partner, the female sea otter leaves her group to mate for up to three days. Breeding is violent; males bite the noses of their mates and grasp them so tightly they sometimes drown. Scientists believe that the bite triggers ovulation. Doting mothers nurture single pups for a year, when the cycle renews.
Larger Pacific Striped Octopus (04:34)
Most female octopi eat their partners after mating, and die after laying eggs; the three inch long, newly discovered larger Pacific striped octopus is an exception. Watch a couple meet each other and breed; they mate for days. The mother protects the offspring for forty days as they grow; she may have several broods in her lifetime.
Big Bellied Seahorse (03:53)
The Big Bellied Seahorse relies on males to carry offspring. See seahorse courtship; when ready, a male puffs out his belly to a female; she transfers eggs from her brood pouch to his, where they are bathed in sperm and amniotic fluid. Males have contractions as fully formed offspring swim from the pouch; gestation is rapid, and they can become pregnant hours after birthing.
Anemone typically function as living booby traps; Clownfish make them home, defending, cleaning and feeding them; a mucus membrane provides immunity to its venom. The fish are all born male, with a single, large female ruler, ensuring they stay male by keeping them stressed. When she dies, the largest male transforms into a female within weeks; the new queen breeds and produces hundreds of offspring.
On Hainan Island, biologists attempt coral restoration, constructing a nursery for the cloning species. Polyps create the super structure as protection; reefs form as they multiply. See coral rehabilitation project.
The Tuatara is a dinosaur era reptile; invasive species has threatened its survival. The hermits can live to a 100 years, mating twice a decade at most, the longest reproductive cycle of all reptiles. After a female deposits her eggs, they will develop for a year; juveniles hatch without protection.
After a year in the womb, Dugongs calves stay by their mothers for six years, until sexual maturity. The strict vegetarians can live for 50 years, using their sense of smell to find food. Breeding occurs all year round, whenever a female is receptive.
Palolo Worms (03:14)
Every year in Samoa, one week from the eleventh full moon, Palolo worms reproduce. They are buried in the seabed, sprouting an egg or sperm packed tail, which breaks off and navigates to the moonlight by a primitive eye. Millions spawn at the same time, on the same night; islanders harvest them as their fertilized eggs drift to the ocean floor.
Every few weeks during spring and summer, thousands of Grunion push onto the Sea of Cortez coastline to spawn; pelicans feast on the exposed waves of fish. They have moments to reproduce before suffocating; females arrive first and deposit eggs; males anchor around the females and release their sperm. Survivors are quickly pulled back into the ocean, leaving behind clutches of golden eggs.
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