A new viral video released by the E/V Nautilus YouTube channel has brought the stubby squid to the public’s attention. The cephalopod looks more like a plush toy dropped at the bottom of the ocean by a clumsy child than a real animal.
With big black googly eyes set on a round, fluffy-looking head and a dark purple color, the Stubby Squid that the crew discovered while mapping the ocean floor with a remote-control submersible. At first, they thought it was a squid, but upon approaching the googly-eyed surreal animal, they realized that it’s probably a stubby squid specimen which is more related to cuttlefish.
The happening took place during a live streaming, so all of the reactions of the participants are genuine. They seem surprised by the discovery, most of the comments being directed towards the surreal eyes of the creature that looked as if they were plastic props pinned on a fake plush version of a squid or rounder cuttlefish.
The Stubby Squid, or the Rossia Pacifica, is a part of the sepiolid family. Even though they are usually referred to as being a squid, they are in fact closely related to cuttlefish. They are able to bury themselves in the soft sand at the bottom of the ocean, and they prefer to stay on the ground rather than swim freely in the water.
Their arms are equipped with suckers and have two additional tentacles like their squid cousins. However, the species is lacking the cuttlebone that offers internal body support to their relatives.
Bobtail squid specimens can be found as deep as 300 meters in the North Pacific region. They prefer muddy sands and places protected from tidal currents. In the summer the stubby squid seeks refuge in deeper water.
As it can be seen in the video, the cartoon-like creatures are transfixed by bright lights similar to a doe caught in headlights.
When hunting, the cephalopod prefers to bury itself in the sand leaving only its eyes out, searching for unsuspecting prey.
If a diver or big animal approaches the location of the stubby squid, it gets away leaving a black thick squid-shaped ink blob behind it.
At maturity, a healthy specimen measures approximately 6 centimeters in length. After reproducing, both the male and female die, but not before the latter lays 25 to 50 eggs on sponge masses or clam shells.
Stubby squid specimens adapt well in aquariums.
Image source: YouTube