Wednesday 19 December 2012

Joubin's Squid

Joubiniteuthis portieri
I don't think squid ever get more slim and dainty than this. We're looking at catwalk material here! I hope she doesn't stumble on all those arms.

I'm so glad to finally find out a little about this deep sea squid! We had a look at them ages and ages ago, when they were interesting for that svelte body and long tail with fins all a-flutter like naughty petticoats in the dark. So cool to finally put a name to the face!

It's Joubiniteuthis portieri, a small squid that seems to reside in tropical and subtropical oceans across the world. It was once filmed at a depth of 1,100 m (3,610 ft) and that's the main reason why anyone knows anything about it. They can reach about 10 cm (4 in) long in mantle length, not including an even longer tail and arms that are longer still.

6 long arms, 2 short arms, 2 thin tentacles
Most squid have 8 fairly short arms and 2 long tentacles for catching prey. Joubin's Squid is different in that 6 of its arms are really long, even longer than the tentacles.

Image: Richard E. Young
An arm with lots of suckers.
A thin tentacle can be seen on the right.
Those arms are also covered in a huge number of small suckers. The tentacles meanwhile are extremely thin and seem rather weak and limp in comparison.

The remaining 2 arms are about a third the length of the others and have little membranes that stick out from the sides so they can act as a sheathe for the tentacles. When the tentacles are extended, it looks as if they come right out of those short arms. The tentacles then seem to flop downward where they're too long for the sheathe, forming a kind of elbow.

It's a bit like the Long Arm Squid, just a touch less diabolical. Meanwhile the other arms are all opened out like curly-wurly claws. Presumably, this dangly-wangly tentacles and curly-wurly claws formation is how it catches prey.

And what can we learn from all this? Beware slim, dainty supermodels wearing naughty petticoats in the dark. They'll claw your eyes out.


Jimy said...

Excellent presentation and content. The pictures have been placed to corroborate details presented in different parts if the post and the video is the icing on the cake.

Joseph JG said...

Thank you!