Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Cloak of the Vampire Squid


All other vampires are jealous of the Vampire Squid's beautiful, silky cloak.


Look how it shines! Count Dracula may as well be wearing cardboard compared to this!


Video: EVNautilus

These exceptional cephalopods are the only species in an order all of their own: Vampyromorphida. Their closest relatives are the octopuses and they do indeed share a lot in common with deep sea cirrate octopods like the Dumbo and the Blind Octopus. One look and you can see the flappy ear fins and the eight, webbed arms each lined with strange spines, or cirri.

But! Take a closer look and you'll find they also have a tough, internal structure called a gladius or pen. These are common in squid but absent in octopods. And if you catch one having a meal you'll get to see a pair of bizarre filaments that may well be a fifth pair of highly modified arms and are completely unknown in squid and octopods.

Vampire Squids really are in a class of their own and if any octopus or squid can match them in shininess I'd love to see it!

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