Lula is spotted 6,200 meters under the sea, setting a new record
Two researchers were lucky enough to find a squid of the genus Magnapinna , just over 6,200 meters deep in the seas of the North Pacific. Specifically, scientists were diving into the Philippine Trench, and looking for something else entirely — an ancient warship — when they spotted the animal.
Squids of this genus are easily recognizable: they have a distinct way of swimming, “chased” by their immense tentacles that, until today, have been measured up to eight meters in length.
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Alan Jamieson (University of Western Australia) and Michael Vecchione (NOAA National Systematics Laboratory) published a paper detailing the encounter, which set a depth record for which this type of squid has been sighted – the former placed a specimen of the animal at 4, 7 thousand meters.
“This dive showed that several types of cephalopods can survive at least in the high parts of these incredibly deep ocean trenches,” said Vecchione. “But this also raises other questions: how do these squids manage to live, physiologically speaking, at depths between 1,000 and more than 6,000 meters, where the pressure is up to 600 times greater than at sea level?”
Magnapinna squid are commonly nicknamed the “long-armed squid” for obvious reasons. However, we know very little about them because, because their sightings are very rare and only occur in deep regions, the scientific consensus is that all the occasions of encounter so far have been with larval animals or at young ages.
Therefore, adult specimens are estimated to be deeper in the ocean, and may have a different appearance. Furthermore, we also don't have much idea of their hunting habits, food preferences or some other peculiarity.
Jamieson and Vecchione were searching for the wreckage of the USS Johnston, an American warship that sank after an attack during World War II. At the same depth, the researchers also saw several cirrus octopuses (also called “dumbo octopus” because of their very large ears).
Research shows that many cephalopod animals survive the most remarkable ocean depths. Full details can be found in the scientific journal Marine Biology.
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The post Lula is spotted at 6,200 meters under the sea, setting a new record appeared first on Olhar Digital.
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