May 20

Vampyroteuthis infernalis: The “vampire” of the deep sea


Vampyroteuthis infernalis is a species with a blood red body and sometimes even black, their appearance compared to their ancestors hundreds of millions of years ago has not changed much, so this species is sometimes considered a fossil. live and are called vampire squid or demon squid.

The French biologist Louis Joubin was a leading figure in the French natural sciences at the turn of the 20th century. This fortunate biologist’s scientific work was funded by Prince Albert I. of Monaco at that time. Louis Joubin repeatedly searched for and studied strange sea creatures on Prince Albert’s Princesse-Alice yacht, and between 1898-1910 he discovered a species of cephalopod (a cephalopod). ) strangely under the deep sea.

This mysterious animal is about a hand long and has 8 “arms” like an octopus, on its back there are two small paddles that look like fish fins. When picked up out of the water, their body is black, very large eyes are red like blood.

The first image depicts the mysterious creature mentioned above.

In 1912, Louis Joubin officially described this strange animal and named it Melanoteuthis lucens. Before that, in 1903, his contemporary German colleague – Karl Chun, discovered and introduced to people a strange creature in the deep sea and named it Vampyroteuthis infernalis, which means “squid squid” Vampires from Hell”. In the following years, as more and more biological specimens of this animal were collected, it was confirmed that the two species Louis Joubin and Karl Chun were in fact the same.

But according to the unwritten rule of the scientific world, it was Karl Chun who discovered and named this creature first, so the name Vampyroteuthis infernalis is considered the official and only name of this animal.

The vampire squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis) also known as the devil squid in fact has a very strange appearance, they have the appearance of both squid and octopus.

An adult vampire squid is about a hand long. This is an ancient creature, the only surviving member of the species Vampyromorphida.
Vampire squid is the only animal of the cephalopod class that has both the characteristics of both squid and octopus that still exists on Earth. When it was first discovered in 1903, it was mistaken for an octopus.

Vampire squid is sometimes called a living fossil because of its relative resemblance to their ancestors who lived 300 million years ago. Vampyroteuthis infernalis has reddish brown skin, blue eyes (possibly red in certain lighting conditions), and membranes between the tentacles.

Unlike other squid, the vampire squid cannot change the color of its pigment cells. Instead, they are covered with light-producing organs – photoreceptors, which can produce flashes of blue light that last from a few seconds to several minutes.

Like the dumbo octopus, the adult vampire squid with two fins on its upper back, Vampyroteuthis infernalis is a relatively small “squid” species, reaching a maximum length of about 30 cm and, like other squids, Female vampire squid are usually larger in size than males.

Two small paddles that look like fish fins on their backs are the parts that help them move through the water. In addition, the body of this species has neutral buoyancy, so it consumes very little energy for movement.

Vampire squid live in oceans from tropical to temperate regions around the globe with depths ranging from 600 to 900 meters. These are habitats without light, low temperatures, high pressures, and extremely low oxygen saturations (about 3%) – such areas were once thought to be incapable of supporting complex life forms. .

While other squid species reproduce in unison towards the end of their lives, the vampire squid shows evidence of multiple reproductive cycles. According to a team of marine biologists led by Dr Henk-Jan Hoving of the GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research in Germany, female vampire squid lay eggs, then return to a resting state to develop new species. new egg. This reproductive cycle can be repeated more than 20 times in a life cycle.

The researchers think that the adult stage of vampire squid is about 8 years, and their lifespan is even longer. Meanwhile, most other squid and octopus species reproduce only once and have a life span of no more than two years.

When in danger, this squid will turn its tentacles upside down to cover its body and make it look like an umbrella of thorns. Despite the name vampire squid, this species does not suck blood, instead, their food is Marine snow – sea snow. It is easier to understand that it is the organic residue of the corpse, the waste that is deposited on the seabed.

Microscopic anatomy of the squid shows that the vampire squid’s suckers are covered with mucus-producing cells that collect and bind individual sea snow particles together and then that is to eat them.

When threatened, 8 octopus-like tentacles will be flipped upside down, forming a giant umbrella to protect the body.


20th century, bibliography, Natural Sciences, Vampire

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