Once thought to be a slumbering drifter of a beast, the first ever video footage of the deep-sea large squid show it to be a fast moving predator which uses luminous flashes to stun its prey
The behaviour of the squid – Taningia danae – was captured by a new underwater video camera system developed by Japanese scientists.
The films, taken at depths of 240m – 940m, show the cephalopods reaching speeds of up to 2.5m per second as they attacked the fish bait. They also emitted short bright light flashes from photophores on the end of their arms before the final assault – a technique thought to act as a blinding flash for prey as well as a means of measuring target distance in a dark deep-sea environment.
Writing in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, Tsunemi Kubodera of the National Science Museum in Tokyo, said: “Our in-situ observations also show that T. danae is an aggressive and tenacious predator rather than a sluggish, inactive squid.”