It’s a Pirate’s Life: How Giant Squid Use A Devious Trick To Get Food

Source: The Atlantic/Elizabeth Preston - March 9, 2018 in Adventure

It’s a Pirate’s Life: How Giant Squid Use A Devious Trick To Get Food
Photo: NASA/Wikimedia Commons (CC0)

When the current dragged the giant squid toward a Spanish beach in October 2016, the creature was already near death. Wounded and suffocating, she stayed alive in the shallows—far from the deep, frigid ocean she came from—long enough for a tourist to snap some photos. Then she died and washed ashore.

Realizing he’d seen something unusual, the tourist, Javier Onicol, called up the president of a conservation nonprofit, who immediately called the marine ecologist Ángel Guerra. “It was incredible to me,” says Guerra, who outlined this chain of communication. Roughly one giant squid (Architeuthis dux) washes up dead in northern Spain each year, but none had ever been glimpsed alive outside of Japanese waters. Any live sightings of these cephalopods are vanishingly rare.

Even in death, the squid was an opportunity for scientists. Guerra rushed to the beach on the Bares peninsula, where he found the carcass, the size of a large adult man, still “very fresh.” He and his colleagues at the Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas, part of the Spanish National Research Council, set out to learn how the squid had met her end.

Read Full Story

To view the Creative Commons license for the image, click here.

Print article