Pacific squid flashes its huge attack ‘headlights’

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Pacific squid flashes its huge attack 'headlights'


The Dana squid has all the tools of a top ocean predator, including a pair of brilliant “headlights” it flashes at the moment it goes in for the kill.

They are intended to dazzle the prey, to make the victim freeze for those few moments longer until it can be captured in a death embrace.

Scientists have just filmed this rare squid in full attack mode, on a research cruise in the central Pacific.

It was about 1,000m below the surface, where conditions are near pitch black.

Those headlights, on the ends of two of its arms, are more properly called photophores – organs that react a mix of substances with oxygen to emit light. It is a classic example of bioluminescence.

And the 2m (6ft 6in) Dana squid (Taningia danae) is thought to have the biggest photophores in the animal kingdom – roughly the size of lemons.



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