The Scuttlefish

Love the Ocean. Wish you were here.

Tag: Squid

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

squid sweater

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).

jumbo squid

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

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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.

*duke*

Oh shit

*blackgang*

This week in "creatures that washed up on the beach"

Oh, just a giant squid and a great white.

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What the Hell Are These Squid Doing?

I’m used to seeing squid darting away from cameras in a cloud of ink, attacking bait, or showing up in crispy fried rings and tentacles on my plate. These guys are just hanging around; one looks like he’s drawing designs in the water with his ink. What are they up to?

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I want to know more about these weird creatures’ secret lives. More info, including the cast of characters, here.

Squid Can Fly

Recently, some of the first photographic evidence of squid in flight have come up, backing up a 2004 paper that claims squid can fly, not only gliding but affecting their trajectory by “flapping their fins… [or] jetting water while in flight.” The paper also claims that squid have been seen evading skipjack tuna by leaping 8 to 10 meters in distance at a maximum height of 3 meters. [SciAm via TokyoMango]