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Please choose an animal from the list below:

Family Architeuthidae

Giant Squid

Giant Squid

Order Teuthida (or Teuthoida, Tenthoidea)

This large order is comprised of the most popular of all the cephalopods: the squid. Squid are among the most intelligent of the invertebrates, with a large head encasing a large brain. The body is cigar-shaped and varies in colour depending on the mood. Generally, they are a light pink. The deep-living species may appear bluish due to their ability to bioluminesce. The body has 2 lateral fins, one on either side, that makes them more streamlined so they can swim faster. They are the fastest of the invertebrates, and swim by shooting water from their muscular mantle cavity out through a siphon, creating a type of underwater jet propulsion.

Squid have eight arms encircling the base of the head. Each arms is equipped with suckers. Two tentacles also encircle the head, and are easily noticeable in that they are longer than the arms. They are thick at the base and then taper off until the tip, where they broaden into a leaf-shaped spatula. These spatulas are covered in four rows of suckers, with the suction cups being further encircled by hooks. These two tentacles are the squid’s main mode of defence (with the second mode of defence being sepia, an ink like substance released through the anus), and are used for capturing prey. The prey is then passed down to the arms and then delivered to the parrot-like beak, where it is sliced into pieces and swallowed.

There are two distinct gender of squid, so reproduction is sexual. The male has a specialized arm that deposits the spermatophore (packet of sperm) into the female’s oviduct or, in some species, into a vesicle below the mouth. The eggs are then fertilized and anchored to rocks (shallow-water species) or are left free-floating (deep-water species).

Squid are found in abundance throughout all the world’s oceans, and are strictly salt-water animals. They are highly carnivorous. The giant squid is the largest species.

There are approx. 300 species in 25 families:

Architeuthidae (giant squid) 1 spp
Bathyteuthidae (bathyteuthid squid) 3 spp
Batoteuthidae (bush-club squid) 1 spp
Brachioteuthidae (brachioteuthid squid) approx. 4 spp described
Chiroteuthidae (chiroteuthid squid) 19 spp
Cranchiidae (bathyscaphoid squid) 60 spp
Ctenopterygidae (ctenopterygid squid) 2 spp
Cycloteuthidae (cycloteuthid squid) 4 spp described
Enoploteuthidae (enoploteuthid squid) 40 spp
Gonatidae (gonatid squid) 19 spp
Grimalditeuthidae (grimalditeuthid squid) 3 spp
Histioteuthidae (histioteuthid squid) 24 spp
Joubiniteuthidae (joubiniteuthid squid) 1 spp
Lepidoteuthidae (scaled squid) 1 spp
Loliginidae(myopsid squid) 42 spp
Lycoteuthidae (lycoteuthid squid) 5 spp
Mastigoteuthidae (whip-lash squid) 19 spp
Neoteuthidae (neoteuthid squid) 3 spp
Octopoteuthidae (octopoteuthid squid) 6 spp
Ommastrephidae (ommastrephid squid) 22 spp
Onychoteuthidae (hooked squid) approx 17 spp
Promachoteuthidae (promachoteuthid squid) 3 spp
Psychroteuthidae (psychroteuthid squid) 1 spp to date, 2 more possible
Thysanoteuthidae (diamondback squid) 1 spp
Walvisteuthidae (walvisteuthid squid) 1 spp, known by single male. May possibly be an Onychoteuthidae