Huygens, Shangri-La, Titan / 2256

©2019-2022 michael raven

“The interesting thing…,” he said, holding the leathery pod with his blue nitrile-ensconced fingers. The brown, reptilian flesh reminded Lauren of an overripe avocado. “…is the sheer aggressiveness of the species.”

He turned the pod back and forth under a bright light.

“Occasionally, you get a double-yolker and, unlike other species where survival may be unlikely due to limited resources, the offspring of the snarkling vie with their siblings for resources even before they hatch. A snarkling will attack their egg-mate as soon as their initial hooks form and woe to the slower-developing twin.”

“So, the stronger kills the weaker to ensure it has the best access to resources?” Lauren asked. “That sounds like classic ‘survival of the fittest’ to me.”

“Oh, it’s far worse,” Professor Yang replied. “They kill and consume the less-fortunate twin within the egg.”

“That… that is aggressive,” Lauren admitted.

“What’s really interesting is when a triple-yolker is laid. But that’s an extremely rare event.”

Professor Yang was silent as he considered this.

“Thankfully,” he added before gingerly putting the pod back into storage approaching absolute zero temperatures, hoping he hadn’t pressed his luck with how long the pod had been out.

Another blast from 8 July, 2019, a post on other social media. Also prompted by the OED Word of the Day, this time “yolker”. Minor edits, otherwise mostly intact.