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There are 350 species of squid ranging in size from 1 inch (2.5 cm) to 60 feet (18 m) and over. They can be found in every ocean. The largest of the species is the giant squid, which lives in the deep, dark waters of the North Atlantic. Most of the giant squids measure 6 feet and can be found in all oceans.
Most scientists rejected the reality of giant squids until about one hundred years ago. In 1888, a giant squid was washed on shore in New Zealand measuring 57 feet (17.4 m) long and had tentacles that were 35 feet (10.7 m) long. It is believed that there may be specimens as long as 200 feet (61 m). This size estimate is based on teeth-ringed sucker marks from a squid 18 inches (46 cm) across found on a sperm whale.
Squids have eight arms and two tentacles lined with sawtooth-edged suckers that help catch and hold prey. The two tentacles reach out to grasp the victim and pull it into the arms. The prey is then torn apart by the sharp parrot-like beak of the squid. The squid also paralyze their prey with venom.
The main food source for the squid is fish and crustaceans. Like an octopus, the squid can also eject a black fluid called ink to help disguise itself when it feels threatened. The ink forms a cloud around the squid and confuses its enemy. It also can change color to match its surroundings. Some species leap out of the water and glide to escape predators.
Squids are predatory mollusks and have highly developed brains and sensory organs. The head has two remarkable eyes similar to humans. In the giant squid, the eye can measure 9 inches (23 cm) across.
The squid usually swims backwards and its streamlined body makes it a fast swimmer. The Creator designed the squid with a muscular funnel that shoots out water for jet propulsion. This funnel can be moved any direction, allowing the squid to move at extreme angles.
Squids gather in great numbers for mating. The eggs are laid in a string of jelly material and become attached to the seabed. When the young are hatched, they look like miniature adults.
Teuthoida • Architeuthidae
Architeuthis harveyi, Histioteuthis heteroptsis,
Dosidicus gigas, Sepiotheuthis lessoniana,
Length: 1 inch to 200 feet (2.5 cm–61 m)
Life Span: Unknown
Special Design Feature: Squid have two long tentacles which reach out and grab prey and pull it into the arms of the squid.
Did You Know? Giant squids can reach a length of 200 feet (61 m).