The Scuttlefish

Love the Ocean. Wish you were here.

Category: squid

This Massive, 18 Foot Long Giant Squid Just Washed Up on the Beach in Kaikoura, New Zealand. I Went Down to Take a Look.

Scuttlefish writer Owen James Burke is currently rambling around New Zealand, living in a van (or soon to be) with a camera, surfboard and speargun in search of stories, waves and fish. We’re putting together a waterperson’s guide to the island nation, but meanwhile, we’ll be publishing stories and photographs, short updates along the way from the Yankee in Kiwiland. -CD


The southern giant squid (Architeuthis sanctipauli), ashore in Kaikoura, New Zealand’s South Bay on May 13, 2015. Photo: Kaikoura Marine Centre and Aquarium.

This week, yet again, a giant squid washed ashore on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island. There may be few other places in the world where giant squid have washed ashore so much as they have in New Zealand, but being the first shallow-water pitstop looking north from deep, cool, Antarctic waters, the east coast of the South Island is a likely place for such abyssal oddities to make landfall. But that still leaves the question: why?


Death and decomposition may not feature this strange, gargantuan creature in all of its grandeur, but I assure you, even in an ice cream cooler, it’s something to see. Photo: Owen James Burke.


Yes, those are teeth on their suction cups. Imagine thousands of tiny lampreys planting their jowls into your flesh and you have a vague idea of what it might be like to come under the attack of the giant squid. Photo: Owen James Burke.

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The Jumbo Squid’s Astonishing Flashdance – Using Light For Communication and Camouflage

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These mounted cameras are a first for squid research and can help decode language and chatter of flashes and flickers. Photo by Joel Hollander

In a recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology out of Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Lab, Ph.D. student Hannah Rosen and other scientists have been able to capture on film the complex communication dance of the Humboldt squid Dosidicus gigasThe jumbo squid, whose mantle length can measure up to 5 ft., were outfitted with a child-sized surf rash guard and fastened with National Geographic’s underwater critter cams (footage below).

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Divers and the jumbo squid in the Sea of Cortez.  Photo by Jim Knowlton and from GrindTV.

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Spineless: Susan Middleton’s Potraits of Marine Invertebrates Like You’ve Never Seen Before



Image courtesy of Abrams Books

Acclaimed photographer Susan Middleton’s gorgeous new coffee table book, “Spineless” showcases portraits of just about every marine invertebrate (animals without backbones) you could think of. Middleton’s opening paragraph sets the stage with two quotes from giants of the fashion world – as analogous to the natural world.

 “What we imagine may be very beautiful but nothing replaces reality.” – Yves Saint Laurent

 “There is no better designer than nature.” – Alexander McQueen

 In Spineless, Middleton explores the mysterious and surprising world of marine invertebrates, which represent more than 98 percent of the known animal species in the ocean. They are also astonishingly diverse in their shapes, patterns, textures, and colors—in nature’s fashion show, they are the haute couture of marine life.




 Image courtesy of Abrams Books

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Ocean Life Through the Lens: The Top Wildlife Photographs of 2014

These beautiful images represent finalists in the 2014 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, presented by London’s Natural History Museum and BBC. Fifty finalists were chosen from over 41,000 entries. Enjoy!

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‘Kings into the Dark’ by Stanley Leroux

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Watch Scientists Dissect a Remarkably Intact Colossal Squid

In the clip above, you’ll see the squid’s massive beak (shaped almost exactly like a parrot’s mouth) removed from its body. Although we have a faint idea, we still don’t really know what it is, exactly, that the colossal squid’s diet consists of.

This might be the best intact colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) science has had the opportunity to study, and if you’ve got three-and-a-half hours to watch a bunch of scientists counting, measuring and fumbling with a dead squid in a tub, then fry up some calamari, sit back and enjoy! Otherwise, we’ve fast-forwarded to a couple of the better, gorier parts.

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Deep Water Cephalopods Turn Dark With Light

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From Duke, a study that suggests deep water octopus and squid quickly shift from semi transparent to red (essentially black under water) to avoid detection by bioluminescent predators like lantern fish.

Transparency is the default state of both Japetella heathi, a bulbous, short-armed, 3-inch octopus, and Onychoteuthis banksii, a 5-inch squid found at these depths. Viewed from below against the light background, these animals are as invisible as they can be. Their eyes and guts, which are impossible to make clear, are instead reflective. But when hit with a flash of bluish light like that produced by headlight fish, they turn on skin pigments, called chromatophores, to become red in the blink of an eye.


Recipe: Chorizo-Stuffed Squid

Being so mildly flavored, squid can take on many different flavors and accompaniments. This spicy chorizo-stuffed squid makes for a great appetizer, but can also be served with a salad as a main course.

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Video of Odori-Don: Dancing Zombie Squid Sashimi

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Odori Don is a hakodate dish where a squid’s head is removed and its legs are served nearly fresh. So fresh that adding soy sauce to the squid causes its legs to dance, even with its brain detached. That’s right–this squid dances without its brain*.

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