Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Vampire Squid

We just learned about the Red Cuttlefish.

Another type of cephalopod is the Vampire Squid.

This type of squid lives in the cold deep part of the ocean, over 2,000 feet below the sea.
It is very cold and dark at this part of the ocean, and there is not a lot of oxygen or food to eat.

Even though they are called the vampire squid, they do not drink blood of other animals.
They eat waste that is floating in the water.

These vampire squids are also kind of like an octopus, so they are their own type of squid and octopus cephalopod called "Vampyromorphida".

Just like the cirroteuthis octopus that looks like it is wearing a skirt, these cephalopods have their arms all webbed together.
Inside their webbed area their arms all have little poky looking spikes called cirri on them.
They are not sharp, and the vampire squid uses them to help collect the garbage food that is floating around in the water.

If they get scared, they can light up their body with photophores that make them glow.
Mostly just at the tips of their arms and the top of their head, but their whole body can make light.
They can also spit out some glowing goo, and sometimes they flip their webbed skirt area inside out and wrap it around their head to try and scare off someone who is trying to eat them.

These cephalopods can have black skin with a red eye, or red skin with a blue eye, so you can see why someone thought they looked like a scary vampire squid!
But mostly they are just a harmless animal floating deep in the ocean eating garbage and trying not to get eaten by a bigger animal.

(from: wikipedia - vampire squid)

(from: youtube - What the vampire squid really eats | Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI))

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Gray Tree Frog