Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Rarely-seen Magnapinna Squid with "Elbows" Filmed

Magnapinna Squid (video still)

A Shell oil remotely operated vehicle in the Gulf of Mexico caught footage of this amazing squid on 11 Nov 2008! See video here.

Based on analysis of videos not unlike the one captured at the Perdido site, scientists know that the adult Magnapinna observed to date range from 5 to 23 feet (1.5 to 7 meters) long, Vecchione said. By contrast, the largest known giant squid measured about 16 meters (52 feet) long. And whereas giant squid and other cephalopods have eight short arms and two long tentacles, Magnapinna has ten indistinguishable appendages that all appear to be the same length. "The most peculiar structure is that of the arms," said deep-sea biologist Bruce Robison of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California. Referring to the way the tentacles hang down from elbow-like kinks, Robison said: "Judging from that structure, we think the animal feeds by dragging its arms and the ends of its tentacles along the seafloor as it drifts slowly above it."

A Magnapinna squid swims about 11,090 feet (3,380 meters) underwater off Oahu, Hawaii, in 2001:
Magnapinna Squid

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