Vampire squid Facts

Vampire squid Facts
Vampire squid is a type of small cephalopod. This animal can be found in temperate and tropical oceans around the world. It lives on a depth of 2000 to 3000 feet at the temperature of 2 to 3 degrees of Celsius. Vampire squid was discovered at the beginning of the 20th century. It was initially classified as octopus due to similarities in appearance with these animals. Vampire squids appeared on the planet 300 million years ago. This animal possesses numerous features which make it specific and unique compared to other squids. Unfortunately, warming of the ocean, pollution and destruction of natural habitats negatively affect number of remaining vampire squids in the ocean.
Interesting Vampire squid Facts:
Vampire squid can reach 12 inches in length.
Vampire squid is black or reddish colored.
Vampire squid has 8 webbed arms. Each arm is equipped with spines (called cirri) arranged in two rows. Bottom half of the arms is covered with suckers.
Vampire squids have large eyes (largest in the animal kingdom compared to the body size). Depending on the light, eyes look like they are red or blue colored.
Vampire squids are named that way because of the black, webbed skin (shaped like a vampire cape) and red eyes.
Vampire squids have white, beak-like jaws. Their diet consists of copepods, cnidarians and other small invertebrates. They eat only couple of times per week.
Young vampire squids move by ejecting large amount of water from a siphon (organ located inside the mantle). This type of movement is called jet propulsion.
Adult vampire squids use pair of small fins (located on the lateral sides of mantle) to move. They look like they fly through the water when they start flapping the fins. Vampire squids can reach the speed of two body lengths per second.
Almost entire body of vampire squid is covered with light-producing organs called photophores. Vampire squid produces light to attract the prey and to distract predators.
Vampire squids are able to invert their skin and expose their spines when they are threatened.
Unlike other types of squids, vampire squids cannot change the color of the body and they don't release ink when they need to escape from the predators. Instead of the ink, vampire squids eject sticky, glowing mucus which confuses predators equally good as ink.
Main predators of vampire squids are large fish, whales and sea lions.
Vampire squids have internal fertilization. Male ejects sperm cells into the female's sac. Female releases eggs and takes care of them until they hatch. Incubation period lasts 13 months.
Female doesn't eat during incubation period and she dies out of exhaustion as soon as eggs hatch. Young vampire squids don't have to eat for the first few weeks of their life because they are born with internal reserves of energy (type of yolk). Young animals undergo several morphological transformations before they attain adult appearance.
Lifespan of a vampire squid is unknown.

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