squid (skwîd) noun
plural squids or squid
Any of various marine cephalopod mollusks of the genus Loligo and related genera, having a usually elongated body, ten arms surrounding the mouth, a vestigial internal shell, and a pair of triangular or rounded fins.
Squid, a carnivorous mollusk belonging to the same class as the nautilus, cuttlefish, and octopus (Cephalopod). The squid has a large head and a relatively large brain. Its body is spherical or cigar-shaped, with two lateral fins. Around the mouth are eight sucker-bearing arms and two longer contractile tentacles with flat tips. The contractile tentacles are used to seize the prey, which is then held by the shorter tentacles and torn by strong beaklike jaws. Squid can swim faster than any other invertebrate by rapidly expelling water from their mantle cavity. The giant squid (genus Architeuthis), which is at least 18 m (60 ft) long, is the largest aquatic invertebrate. It lives at depths of 300 to 600 m (985 to 1970 ft).
Scientific classification: Squid belong to the order Tenthoidea of the class Cephalopoda.
IN QUEST OF THE GIANT SQUID Despite being the world's longest invertebrate, measuring over 60ft, the southern giant squid Architeuthis longimanus is known entirely from dead specimens: it has never been seen in the living state. In February 1997, however, an international scientific team led by Dr. Clyde Roper froin the US National Museum in Washington, plans to launch a six-week quest for sightings of this elusive marine monster. The team will be exploring the deep trenches off South island, New Zealand, armed with underwater video cameras and plenty of fish bait.
- _Daily Telegraph_, 30 Jan 1997.
Emory Kristof Hunts The Giant Squid
Emory Kristof is riding shotgun
on the last great animal hunt on planet Earth. His goal: Be the first to
shoot - on film - the
legendary giant squid (Architeuthis dux), a brute so enormous that ancient Norse mariners believed its thrashing caused
First described by Aristotle, the carnivorous calamari - believed to grow as long as two semi trucks placed end to end - is an elusive denizen of the deep ocean. The only proofs of its existence are 30-odd carcasses of varying size and decomposition that have been recovered over the last century. But the fact that the giant cephalopod has never been seen alive makes it irresistible bait for Kristof, who over his career has amassed a photo portfolio that cost US$60 million to create and includes megafirsts like the Titanic wreck.
To get his shot at the mythical mollusk, Kristof's trying to learn what he can from last year's million-dollar expedition to New Zealand's Kaikoura Canyon (which nabbed only a 4-foot relative) and auditioning a new baiting system.
"The squid symbolizes everything that we don't know about the ocean," muses Kristof. "If we're missing something this big, imagine what else might be down there."
- Michael Menduno
Squids have the ability to change their color very rapidly in patters like chevrons and stripes. Millions of cells on their skin called "Chromatophors" do this via direct connections to their brains. They do so when distrubed or aroused, and the colors can very irridescent fluoro.