Vampire squid can turn itself “inside out” to avoid predators

February 4th, 2010 - 3:21 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Feb 4 (ANI): A video footage has revealed that the vampire squid can turn itself “inside out” to avoid predators.

According to a report in National Geographic News, the video was released by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute to emphasize the need to protect deep-sea species from the effects of human activities.

Vampyroteuthis infernalis is a type of living fossil, meaning that it has seen very little change since it first appeared, before dinosaurs, about 300 million years ago.

“Vampyroteuthis has very large eyes, because it lives about a half a mile deep in the ocean, where the light is very dim. We took these pictures from a deep diving robotic submarine. And you can see the reflection of our lights in that beautiful blue eye,” said Dr. Bruce Robison from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

The vampire squid has 8 long arms, and a long curly strand that serves as a sensory filament.

It has a unique ability to react when it is startled. It can curl its web and arms around the rest of its body-turning sort of ‘inside out.’

This change in appearance may help it avoid being attacked by predators.

These cephalopods live in the deep ocean with millions of other species, some of which are little known and on which little study has been done.

According to Robison, human activities threaten all of these.

“They are threatened by ocean warming, decreasing oxygen, pollution, overfishing, industrialization and dozens of other changes taking place in the deep. We have a responsibility to learn all we can about these amazing animals and to protect them from the greatest danger to life in the deep: the human species,” he said. (ANI)

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