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Voracious parents

Padres voraces

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The Garibaldi, a beautiful resident of the kelp forests along the California coast, reproduces between March and July. During this time, the male constructs a nest and devises ways to attract females to lay their eggs there. Afterwards, the male dedicates himself to caring for the eggs, continuously fanning his fins to renew the water and protect them until they hatch. However, sometimes, when the offspring are about to hatch, the male consumes them.

A possible explanation for this unusual cannibalism has been found in a fish that invests so much in protecting the eggs. The male Garibaldi, in order to ensure the greatest possible offspring, tries to attract as many females as possible to lay their eggs in his nest. However, it seems that the females do not like to lay their eggs right next to another female’s clutch. Therefore, in his efforts to obtain a greater number of eggs, the male consumes the eggs that are on the edge of the previous clutch, creating space for the other female to spawn without the clutches touching. In other words, he sacrifices some eggs to make room and achieve a much larger number of offspring.

“You cannot defend what you do not love, and you cannot love what you do not know.”