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Copyright Š 2012 by Jenny X Lin All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without the prior permission of the publisher. Published in the United States.


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D E S I G N E D A N D C R E AT E D B Y J E N N Y X L I N


The vampire squid has remained one of the ocean’s most mysterious animals. It is a small, deep-sea cephalopod found throughout the temperate and tropical oceans of the world.

ANATOMY PAGE 2

EATING PROCESS PAGE 6

SURVIVAL PAGE 10


DORSAL VIEW Here is the dorsal view of the squid.

Anatomy The vampire squid can reach up to 30 cm or around a foot. Its gelatinous body varies in color between silky jet-black and pale reddish, depending on location and lighting conditions.

1. Eye The vampire squid has very large eyes; proportionally, they have the largest eye-to-body ratio of any animal in the world.

2. Fin Mature adults have a pair of small fins projecting from the lateral sides of the mantle. The vampire squid “fly� through the water by flapping their fins.

3. Photoreceptor 2

They have two light-sensitive photo-receptors on their head and their bodies are covered with photophores, specialized organs capable of producing light. They can control the intensity of the light.


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The main part of the vampire squid’s body is enclosed by a tubelike structure called the mantle.

5. Head The head of the vampire squid is right below the mantle.

A N AT O M Y

4. Mantle

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ORAL VIEW Here is the oral view of the vampire squid.

1. Cirri Each arm is lined with rows of fleshy spines called cirri. These harmless spikes are for a fearsome look.

2. Cloak A webbing of skin connects its eight arms.

A N AT O M Y

3. Beak

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There is an upper beak and a lower beak that the vampire squid ingests the food with.

4. Sucker Only the distal half of the arms have suckers.


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A N AT O M Y

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MARINE SNOW

Eating Process The vampire squid has an extremely low metabolic rate, meaning that it can go for long periods of time without feeding. This is an important adaptation, as food is hard to find at these extreme depths.

Marine Snow is predominately organic debris raining down from the upper levels of water. It is composed of dead plants and animals, fecal matter, and various inorganic ocean dusts. Vampire Squid suspend themselves at very low depths, waiting to catch the organic material that gently falls through the water from above.

Figure 1

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EATING PROCESS The white string-like appendage in Figure 1 is the vampire squid’s filament. The squid has two filaments, which it uses to gather marine snow for consumption. When deployed, the filaments can stretch up to 8 times the animal’s body size. Figure 2 shows a close-up of the Vampire Squid’s filament. The tiny hair-like structures cause the food (marine snow) to stick for efficient gathering.

hair - like structure

Figure 2

Because of the Vampire Squid’s unique retractile sensory filaments, it is the only organism in the order Vampyromorphida, which shares similarities with both squids and octopuses.

E AT I N G P R O C E S S

Trivia!

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Trivia! Unlike many other squids, the vampire squid cannot release ink from its suckers. Instead, it lets out mucus.

E AT I N G P R O C E S S

Figure 3

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Where the food is when it is retrieved

Once the squid’s filaments acquire enough marine snow, the filament is retracted. As illustrated in Figure 3, the Vampire Squid uses its arms to grab the food.


The suckers on the outer parts of the arms, as shown Figure 4, release mucus, which mixes with the waste particles. It then rolls the mixture of food into a ball and finally consumes it.

Figure 4 Suckers where mucus is released

This ends the unusual eating process of the strange creature. Essentially, the vampire squid is the ocean’s garbage disposal.

Trivia! The bioluminescent mucus ejected from the arm tips of the squid contains innumerable orbs of blue light.


ENVIRONMENT

Survival The beaks of vampire squids have been found in the stomach contents of large deep-diving mammals, such as whales, giant grenadiers, blue sharks, and sea lions.

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Vampire squid live 600 – 900 meters behind the water in a discrete habitat known as the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ). It is able to live and breathe in the OMZ without problems. The oxygen saturation is too low for most higher organisms to survive.


QUICK SWIMMERS Vampire squid have been observed, with their long velar filaments deployed, drifting along in the deep black ocean currents. If the filaments feels vibrations or any substances, the animal will move swiftly away.

S U R V I VA L

They are capable of swimming at speeds equivalent to two body lengths per second, with an acceleration time of five seconds. However, their stamina is rather low because of weak muscles.

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Photophores covers the body

Photoreceptors

S U R V I VA L

PHOTOPHORES

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Almost the entire body of the vampire squid is covered in these light-producing organs called photophores. Like the photoreceptors, the intensity of the photophores is greatly controlled by the squid. One of the main purposes of the photophores is to confuse the predators.


THREAT RESPONSE The vampire squid reacts to danger with a threat response called “pumpkin” or “pineapple” posture. Bending its webbed arms back, the squid stretches them around its body and protrudes its cirri, forming an unappetizing appearance.

cirri

S U R V I VA L 13


Vampire Squid  

My objective was to visually convey the scientific process of food consumption by the vampire squid. The catalog is divided into three secti...