Within two hours of sunrise—that appeared to be the ideal time for neon goby embryos to hatch, according to a recent study.
A study in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B Biological Sciences journal has found out that the ideal time for neon goby embryos to hatch is within two hours of sunrise.
For coral reef embryos, this knowledge is important as the time of their hatching is a perilous time that directly affects their survival. Yet many of them have to decide on their own when to hatch, according to corresponding author John Majoris, a research scientist at The University of Texas at Austin.
But not for neon goby embryos.
It was discovered that neon goby fathers were the ones that decided when their offspring would be hatched.
In the lab, the father fish did this by using their mouths to remove eggs from the nest, and then transported the newly hatched larvae to the opening of the sponge, and then spitting them out of the entrance.
“Goby embryos are ready and waiting,” said Majoris. “When parents are around, they wait patiently for their dads to make the call that it’s time to hatch.”
The offspring that received this fatherly guidance turned out larger and more developed than those that hatched on their own, which automatically gives them an advantage when catching food, escaping predators and navigating the open ocean.
In contrast, the embryos that developed on their own without such guidance hatched less synchronously, were underdeveloped and up to 50 percent earlier than those that were cared for by their parents.