Started feeding with frozen clam strips this week. They were a good choice for us as they are whole pieces cut into strips and they thaw quick. Merk likes to grab her food quick and eat it frozen, but I worry about her doing that too much.
Merk has been acting weird for the past few days. She has been hiding and only grabbing food from within her cave without actually coming out to get it. Last night she grabbed the food, but I noticed she didn't eat it. There have been these two (only 2) little oblong white sacs hanging down from her den for a little over a week now, but I dismissed it since there were only two of them and she kept eating. In all fairness, these do look an awful lot like egg sacs now that I Google for images.
They are like little flat white snow pea pods about a quarter inch long. Tonight I couldn't even get her to take the food. She just compressed her body back ever tighter into the rocks when I put it in front of her.
I will post a picture later. I'm really depressed that this could be the beginning of the end for Merkury. How could she have become gravid at such a young age. She is, for all my calculation less than a year old? I have only had her since August and she was so small when I found her.
Comparing your October video to [video]http://www.tonmo.com/forums/showthread.php?21928-Mama-Cass-O.briareus-(tank-hatched)&p=165826&viewfull=1#post165826[/video], and trying to look at the maturity of the mantle (both male and female grow a buldge (or should I say an indentation the seems to extend into a buldge) just past midway as they mature I have noticed) I would say Merk is close in age to Cassy and Tatanka, potentially as much as a month older. You should have seen her mantle becoming extended, possibly not to the extent Cassy's has but still it should have been noticable rapid growth. I noticed Kooah's mantle starting to thicken and thought I had more time but it never got as large as Cassy's (KaySoh did not have viable eggs but her mantle extended similar to Cassy's). [video]http://www.tonmo.com/forums/showthread.php?20568-Kooah-s-Hatchlings-O.briareus&p=172690&viewfull=1#post172690[/video]
It is hard to say. Since she would not have mated, her eggs would not be fertile and would deteriorate quickly. Some females will come out of their brood dens once the eggs are gone. My best guess through casual observation (ie without recording instances) is that the female will live on as if the eggs were viable but die around the time the eggs would have hatched or shortly there after. You are likely to see senescent behavior with aimless wandering and peculiar antics. KaySoh (I think) moved mountains of sand to different places in her tank. It is most common for them to come out more when they are senescent but I have had females that did not leave their brood den while I was around even though there were no eggs. Another possibility (did you look at the links I posted to see if the things you saw looked like briareus eggs?) is that she was unhappy with the first den and is seeking another to lay more eggs.
Since she is not in the den, can you pull out the rock and retrieve the suspect attachments? The link I posted shows the eggs in various phases, including empty with the odd woody stem that they are attached to.