Thursday, September 16, 2010

Vampire Squid

The vampire squid, (Vampyroteuthis infernali) which depicts something that swam out of a late-night science fiction. But in spite of its bizarre name, this squid is a small creature, which grows up to 6 inches length. It is one of the oldest species. It is an exclusive member which shares similarities with both squid and octopuses.

They have large fins at the top of its body that resemble ears. They serve as primary means of thrust as it flies through the water with the help of flapping their fins. They have very gelatinous form, resembling a jellyfish. It will swim faster with a speed of reaching over two body lengths in a second. The largest eyes are relative to its body size of any animal. Though it is comparatively small, they appear red or blue in color.

They have eight arms which are connected with a webbing of skin, which gives an appearance of an octopus than a squid. When threatened, it can draw its arms up by itself and form a suspicious web which covers the whole body. Each of the eight arms is lined with a single row of suction cups and rows of soft, fleshy spines known as cirri. The color of the squid ranges from jet black to pale red. Their body is covered with light-producing organs called photophores.

The vampire squid is a carnivorous animal. Its diet consists of prawns, copepods, cnidarians, and other small invertebrates. The beaks of it is found in the stomachs of seals, whales, and fishes, The interesting fact is that they can roam around without eating for a longer period of time.

Their eggs will be of small and opaque, with a size of about eight millimeters. They reproduce slowly by laying small number of eggs.

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