Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
These Fish Are All About Sex on the Beach | Deep Look

These Fish Are All About Sex on the Beach | Deep Look

This baby fish is stuck. It’s ready to hatch, to swim out into the
open sea. So how did it get here – stranded up on the
sand? It all started two weeks ago, when its parents
left their watery home for an adults-only beach party. During the very highest tides, California
grunion ride in on the waves to get as high up on the beach as possible. The females start digging with their tails,
burrowing down to lay thousands of eggs under the wet sand. The males cruise the beach, searching for
females. Not super easy when you’re literally a fish
out of water. When they meet up, the males wrap themselves
around the females and fertilize the eggs. It’s a real scene… Then, when they’re done, they catch a wave
back home. This whole awkward affair is risky for the
parents – and for the eggs. Up on the beach, they’re all on their own,
completely out of their element. But grunion eggs are tough. The outer membrane, called a chorion, protects
them from drying out and keeps them from getting crushed. And that’s good because they’re going
to be on the beach for a while. But that’s the whole idea. The ocean is full of predators looking to
gobble up a tasty fish egg. Growing up in this sandy nursery gives baby
grunion an advantage. Though nowhere is truly safe. But fish still need water, so these eggs can’t
hatch any old time. If they did, they’d suffocate in the dry
sand. So they have to time it perfectly, waiting
for the gravitational pull of the sun and moon to line up, creating an extra high tide,
which only happens twice a month. The baby grunion wait for the signal: the
waves. The cold seawater jostles them, telling them
it’s time to hatch. But the grunion still have to break out of
their tough eggs before the tide recedes. So they release special enzymes from their
tail that eat right through the chorion. They come bursting out. And swim for their lives, as the waves sweep
them out, into the briny deep, where they belong. Hey. It’s Lauren. Looking for something to watch next? Check out Gross Science, also part of the
PBS Digital Studios’ lineup, where Anna shows you the more adorable side of hideous parasites
and unspeakable bodily functions. You’ll also love NPR’s awesome science channel
“Skunk Bear”! This week, you can follow them into a cuddly
colony of vampire bats. See you next time!

100 comments on “These Fish Are All About Sex on the Beach | Deep Look

  1. These are called Bolinao here in Cebu, Philippines. Fascinating to know about them mating, albeit weird since it's regular dish eaten here.

  2. What an hilariously AWESOME and innovatively enticing way to humanize the lifecycle of these fish πŸ˜„πŸ˜†πŸ˜…πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ …..
    Okay I'm watching this again – for the SCIENCE – because it took me a while to understand the sociology behind it all.
    Maybe the grunions can do all this not just because nature made them this way, but ALSO because they don't have religion, morality, ethics, or other social constructs holding them back from what they're SUPPOSED to (want to?) do… πŸ˜•πŸ’­πŸ˜œπŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜‰

  3. And here is again. Global warming that increase temperatur may affect all the egg. The sand will be dryer and get more heat.

  4. But did you go around the beach with a magnifier, looking at the tiny sand and rocks until you find this one also very tiny and clear-colored fish egg?

  5. 1:02

    hey that female fish should have stripes! So she can be called a stripper fish!

  6. I wonder how the man/woman who discovered the fish reacted when they saw a bajillion of them getting it on at the shoreline.

  7. Thats dam frick up and that means millions of fishes are dying everytime because people are going to the beach and not only that why frick the female is with alot of male did they create it 1:05

  8. 1:04
    Record scratch
    Freeze frame
    β€œYep, that’s me. You’re probably wondering how I got in this situation.”

  9. If I saw a bunch of fish on the beach making babies, I would honestly kick the fishes and scream at the top of my lungs

  10. California Grunions: goes onto the beach to mate
    Fisherman waiting for this moment: It's free real estate

  11. It Funny how so fish do the same thing people doπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  12. It's so amazing that you can manage to record or film this kind of events on such tiny creatures. Thank you to the max for your effort for us to learn something new.

  13. i found these little guys when we went swimming on the sea near the beach. i held one of these guys they were beautiful and there were so many of them

    and also i got a crab lol

  14. To learn fascinating things about science of LIFE and living organisms……
    Follow us on Bio sapiens….

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