Science News

Deep Sea Flirting

Sun, 18th Feb 2007

Part of the show Science Q&A Show

This week we've had another exciting glimpse of what life is like in the unseen deep ocean, from a team of scientists led by Tsunemi Kubodera from the National Science Museum in Tokyo who have taken brand new high definition film of a deep sea squid which seem to be behaving rather strangely a very long way down beneath the waves. The Dana octopus squid grows to over 2 meters long and lives between 300 to 900m down in the ocean. It has large glowing bulbs called photophores on the end of two of its eight legs. The new video footage taken off the Ogasawara Islands, in the western North Pacific, showed the squid using these shining lights when hunting - Maybe the squid was trying to confuse or perhaps stun their prey by blinding them with flashing lights or possibly the squid was using light to measure distance to its prey in the pitch black deep sea environment. The team were also surprised to discover just how swift and agile a predator the dana octopus squid is, because it was previously suspected to be sluggish and slow moving. And an even stranger behaviour was observed when the team switched on two torches attached to the outside of their submersible vessel - it seems that the giant squid may have mistaken them for another squid because it showed great interest in them and even seemed to try and communicate with them, flashing their photophores - so perhaps the huge squid was trying to flirt with its new found squid friend, after all it must be a cold lonely place all that way down beneath the waves. Link to film clips: http://www.pubs.royalsoc.ac.uk/media/proceedings_b/papers/Video_clip_4.mov

Multimedia

Subscribe Free

Related Content


-
Not working please enable javascript
EPSRC
Powered by UKfast
STFC
Genetics Society
ipDTL