Wild Fact #668 – The Spotlighgt is on This Cool Vampire – Vampire Squid

Drawing of a Vampire Squid by Carl Chun, 1911

Well it is the middle of the week, my driveway still needs to be shoveled and here I am writing a Wild Fact about a deep sea creature called the Vampire Squid.  Personally I think I made a great choice to sit down and write about this incredibly unique animal instead of braving the cold, windy, Yukon night.  In order for us to get to know the Vampire Squid a little better you may want to put on your wetsuit and grab an oxygen tank since we are heading to the deep blue sea.  Usually they can be found in temperate or tropical parts of the ocean.  So we need to choose which area we want to go swimming in.  My vote is for the tropical area.

The Vampire Squid is not a very big animal as the largest they will typically grow to is only 30 cm (1 foot) long.  Their actual jelly-like body is only about 15 cm (6″) long while their eight arms make up the rest of their length.  You may have noticed from the picture above that their arms actually have a webbing of skin attaching them together.  This webbing is pretty cool since the Vampire Squid is able to pull their arms over their body and use this web to protect themselves against attackers.  Sticking with their arms, you will find a single row of suction cups on each arm as well as soft spines which are known as cirri.  Add the cape-like webbing, soft spine structures to the fact that these squids have red eyes and you have the reason they are called Vampire Squid.  Does anyone else see the resemblance between this squid and every girls favourite vampire, Robert Pattinson?

Vampire Squid - Dorsal View - Photo from Wikicommons

Now that we are done examining the unique arms of the Vampire Squid let’s take a closer look at their body.  Their gelatinous body is covered with photophores so you know what that means, right?  Of course you do!  This means the squid is able to light up anytime they feel like.  I would like to see those “show-off” normal vampires use bio luminescence to attract prey and disorient oncoming predators.  This light show that the Vampire Squid displays is most likely their main form of defense.  Unlike other squid’s they don’t have an ink sac to help defend against the bullies of the sea.  Although, if things get really bad they can release a cloud of bio-luminescent mucus from their arms, which I am sure would help confuse their predators.  One more reason why the Vampire Squid is way cooler than the regular, ol’ vampires.

I guess that just about does it for our trip to the deep sea.  I hope you enjoyed your time swimming around with the squids.  See you tomorrow for another adventure.

2 Responses

  1. Agapelife 7 years ago
    • Nathan Nathan 7 years ago

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