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Images: New Sonar Method Offers Window into Squid Nurseries

Hordes of squid return each spring to waters off Monterey, Calif., to spawn and lay eggs. Fishermen may be catching large numbers of squid before they can complete their complex and competitive mating behaviors and subsequently lay eggs. (Courtesy of Roger T. Hanlon, Marine Biological Laboratory)

Squid (Loligo opalescens)are a staple in the diets of many fish, birds, and marine mammals. They return annually to spawn a few hundred yards off Monterey?s Cannery Row (Courtesy of Roger T. Hanlon, Marine Biological Laboratory)

Squid deposit gelatinous capsules, each containing 150 to 300 embryos. The finger-sized capsules form small clumps called mops that later cluster into egg beds up to several meters in diameter. (Courtesy of Roger T. Hanlon, Marine Biological Laboratory)

Strips of sonar images are mosaicked together to create a composite map of the seafloor off Monterey, Calif., where squid gather each spring to spawn. (Courtesy of Kenneth G. Foote, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

The sonar map reveals a mottled pattern that represents squid egg clusters, giving scientists a way to census next year?s potential squid population. (Courtesy of Kenneth G. Foote, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)