Hidden Camera Captures Rare Moments of What Squids See Underwater
Ever wondered what the view is like down under from a jumbo squid's perspective? Stanford researchers were also wondering that and strapped video cameras to the carnivorous sea creature in the eastern Pacific to track every movement of these sea creatures.
Hopkins Marine Station's William Gilly secured video cameras and electronic sensors to some Humboldt squids and then thoroughly analyzed their habitats, tracked them with sonar and raised their eggs.
The researchers learnt that the squids move and communicate with one another using their color changing chromatophore cells, the secondary purpose of the experiment. These types of squids can grow up to more than 6 feet in length and 100 pounds in weight, and have razor-sharp beaks and toothed suckers
"A squid is a very flexible platform for a camera," said Stanford biology Professor William Gilly. The device simply wasn't designed to latch onto a slippery, boneless creature, and the team was forced to attach it with the help of a child's bathing suit, cut to act as an elastic sleeve.
The Humboldt squids are also known for traveling long distances - tagging studies by the Gilly Lab along the California coast show that the squid frequently travel more than 30 kilometers a day, logging migrations as long as 600 kilometers in a bit over two weeks.
"They undergo big migrations for such a short-lived animal," said former Stanford undergraduate Lauren Bell, who coauthored the Crittercam study. "It was a mystery how they were able to satisfy energy demands that allow for both growth and travel."