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Bobtail Squid playing in the sandbox

By Leonard Ho - Posted Mar 14, 2013 09:00 AM
Bobtail Squids, AKA Dumpling Squids, are fascinating little cephalopods. Underwater videographer 'liquidguru' shares a video of this pint-sized undersea alien trying its best to bury itself under sand by flailing its tiny tentacles.

This is Euprymna berryi.  A layer of iridescent cells gives this squid its gorgeous glowing blue/green coloration.  When chromatophores expand within these cells, the squid can turn completely brown to blend with its sandy surroundings.  E.berryi also has formed "a symbiotic relationship with bioluminescent bacteria (Vibrio fischeri), which inhabit a special light organ [on] the squid's [underside]." (Wikipedia)  At night when bobtails are active, "the organ contains filters which may alter the wavelength of luminescence closer to that of downwelling moonlight and starlight" so that bottom-dwelling predators will not spot this stealthy squid swimming overhead.  Very cool!

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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