Scientists have captured for the first time a strange and rare species of deep sea squid alive in the wild.
The 3-inch long horn squid, also known as the Spirula spirula, lives at depths more than 3,000 feet and is so small that it is rarely seen in its natural habitat. They are named for their spiral skeletons commonly found drifting on beaches and this species is found throughout the tropical Atlantic and Indo-Western Pacific regions.
Researchers from the Schmidt Institute of Oceans filmed the species off the coast of Australia and then posted the video on Twitter, saying they had “interesting news”;.
“This appears to be the FIRST observation of Spirula, also known as the ramie squid, alive + in its natural environment,” it wrote. “Very rarely seen or captured, they have many extinct relatives, but only living members of the genus Spirula, family Spirulidae, and order Spirulida.”
According to ScienceAlert, the Schmidt researchers discovered the creature while using a vehicle remotely operated on the Great Barrier Reef. They are filming at a depth of almost 2,800 feet.
For about a minute, the film shows the squid swimming on the deep bottom, before it plunges in out-of-view speed.
In an email to Newsweek, a spokesperson for the Schmidt Oceans Institute said the encounter took place after about 2.5 hours of diving and the researchers were surprised by its arrival. “The squid remained upright as we zoomed closer for better visibility, but then started to swim quickly downwards and we continued to follow it for a few minutes to study and comment on Its unique shape and staring eyes. “
The discovery comes as researchers continue a giant coral mapping project. On Monday, the organization announced the discovery of a detached giant reef – the first to be discovered in over 100 years.
In a statement about the discovery, Wendy Schmidt, co-founder of the institute, said that the new technologies are “revealing the diverse ecosystems and life forms that share the planet with us.”
Other important discoveries made by the institute as part of the project include the longest marine life ever recorded, a 147-foot long rock-mackerel, and a scorpionfish species for the first time. rare.
Schmidt Ocean Institute
The footage of the bull’s horn squid has excited marine scientists. Neige Pascal, from the University of Burgundy in France, said ScienceAlert Spirula’s body position is very noticeable. “Are we absolutely sure of the direction of the shot? If so, this is a king of revolution,” he told the website. “A lot of people get nervous because the head sticks out. And the reason they’re worried is because the shell with its buoyancy is on the other end of the squid. Head heavier, will be hanged. “
Michael Vecchione, who studies sea level at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, told ScienceAlert that the squid has an organ that emits length, in the video that appears at the head of the squid.
Its orientation is unusual for animals, and is currently an important question about this rare species. However, Vecchione says more observations will be needed to do this.
Since this is the first shot, scientists may have to wait a while longer before they are seen again.
This article has been updated to include comments from the Schmidt Ocean Institute.