So cute, isn’t it?
Thank you ABC Science for this awesome photo and description of a truly unique species.
This is the vampire squid from hell or Vampyroteuthis infernalis which feeds on decaying bodies in the great depth of 600-900m in temperate and tropical oceans. It’s so unique that it also has its own branch of the taxonomic tree; half octopus, half squid.
The creature is not particularly huge at 13cm but it has huge eyes to detect any moving objects and has dark blue bioluminescence against predators. It entirely feeds on dead bodies that drop to the ocean floor, it’s the quiet yet amazing looking sweeper of debris.
This cephalopod has sticky filaments that it uses to snare in small morsels, stick them together with a glue like substance then bring the parcel to the mouth. Ie it makes its own deep-ocean cake pop.
Sad to think that biodiversity is shrinking at such a pace that we are going to lose many many unique species such as this one, some even before we get to discover them… but for now, let’s revel in the mind-blowing uniqueness of this awesome little vampire.