Sea creature of the week!

August 29th, 2011

The Banded Piglet Squid

Scientific name: Helicocranchia pfefferi

Family: Cranchiidae

Home: This cutie can usually be found floating around 320ft or deeper below the ocean’s surface all across the world.

Physical characteristics: This orange-size creature rarely grows to be over 10cm in length. As a paralarvae (youngster)  it is mostly clear speckled with patches pigment-containing, light-reflecting cells known as  chromatorphores. This little guys bright eyes are a result of light-emiting organs called photophores. The little bunch of curls atop its head are actually its tentacles. As the piglet squid reaches sexual maturity it loses some of its tentacles and turns reddish in color.

Food: There is still a lot of mystery surrounding our little friend and researchers have not yet concluded what the little guy feeds on.

Fun Facts: Unlike most other squid, “piglet” is believed to swim upside-down!

The ammonium ions in the creatures body fluid enables it to remain buoyant!