The ram’s horn shell is very small, and the delicate spiral structure is commonly seen among beach wanderers.
Although they are ubiquitous, the original owners of these cartridge cases are extremely elusive. Until now, we have never taken a shot in the field.
In the twilight zone of our ocean, at the fingertips of the sun, the remote control vehicle (ROV) has now provided ram horn squid (Spirulinaa) In its natural habitat.
This weird-looking cephalopod is a small object only 7 cm (less than 3 inches) long. It has eight arms, two tentacles, a pair of raised eyes and a puppet-like appearance.
At its tail (hidden under the mantle) is a tightly coiled inner shell containing a gas chamber for animals to manipulate buoyancy.
At first, the researchers operating the ROV at the Schmidt Ocean Institute had no idea what they were looking at.
“What the hell is going on?”
Exciting news! This seems to be the first observation of Spirulina. Spirulina, also known as ram’s horned squid, is still alive in its natural environment. They are rarely seen or captured, and have many extinct relatives, but they are only living members of the Spirulina genus, Spirulina family, and Spirulina family. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/re4rZyRuER
-Schmidt Ocean (@SchmidtOcean) October 27, 2020
Since then, the rare sightings have been shared online and have been confirmed to be the first video broadcast live Spirulina In the deep sea, this is the largest and least explored habitat on our planet.
Although there are many deep-sea species that have never been seen in their natural waters, this recent chance encounter has made scientists particularly excited.
My goodness! Okay, I don’t want to be too excited… But according to several squid experts, this may be the first video broadcast live! Although these squids have many extinct relatives, they are the only remaining of this squid, and the shell is spiral!
Sch @ SchmidtOcean #DailyJelly pic.twitter.com/0Lv6ESvYNI
—Open Ocean Exploration (@RebeccaRHelm) October 27, 2020
The ram’s horned squid is rare in the wild, and it is one of the most unusual cephalopods there.
Except for cuttlefish, it is the only known mollusk that contains an internal chamber to maintain its buoyancy. However, unlike squids, the bones of squids are tightly wound.Mollusk Nautilus The genus also has similar shaped shells, but they are located outside the animal.
Michael Vecchione, a zoologist who studied water squid at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, said: “I have been looking for these animals.”
“I have no problem at all, this is Spirulina. ”
Vecchione often fished the species from deep, sometimes placing them in an aquarium, but he had never seen a shot of squid in their natural habitat.
Researcher Neige Pascal did not Spirulina At the University of Burgundy, France. He told ScienceAlert that the video was “very exciting.”
In addition to the rarity of this encounter, there is another particularly surprising aspect of the shot: the animal’s position, with its head and tentacles floating upright, with its fins facing down.
Pascal told the “Science Letters”: “Are we completely sure about the shooting direction? If this is the case, it will be the king of revolution.”
Vecchione added: “Many people are frightened by raising their heads.”
“And the reason they are weird is because the buoyant shell is on the other end of the squid. So you think the heavier head will hang down.”
When placed in the aquarium, this is actually the direction of the squid. Its head is down and its tentacles are up-so people think that this species has the same position in the deep sea.
However, according to Vecchione, this assumption is problematic. Ram’s horned squid also has a light-emitting organ called a fluorophore, located near the buoyancy shell.
this means Spirulina With your head down, the light will point upward, which is very unusual for deep-sea animals.
In the twilight zone of our ocean, predators often raise their eyes to catch a glimpse of possible meals. Therefore, phosphors help disguise prey in the deep sea by washing off their outlines with light. If the lamp is pointed upwards, then the organ is not so useful.
We still have many things we don’t know SpirulinaThis includes how the species reproduces and where it lays its eggs, but how this squid orients in the water is one of the biggest problems facing Vecchione.
Although he is not sure that its tentacles are always floating upwards, he said that the video is good evidence that Squid did so for at least part of the time. We need more observations to solve this mystery.
The curiosity surrounding the ram-horn squid did not end there. When the creature finally broke through the video, it looked as if some ink splashed into the water. Vecchione is pretty sure this is from squid-a possible transfer strategy for escape.
“It’s funny because Spirulina It has a mechanism to produce ink, but like other deep-sea species, its content is also reduced in this species. “Vecchione told “Science Early Warning.”
“But this shows that it is functional and they are using it for defense.”
This may be the first time we have found a ram’s horned squid in its natural habitat, but this is also the first time they have faced a cheering ROV. If they wet themselves, it’s fair.