The amazing strawberry squid, whose eyes watch opposite places at the same time

strawberry squid It is one of the most amazing squid species of all that exist. It is characterized, at first glance, for being small and with bulging eyes. Actually, yesHis two eyes have different sizes: one small and blue and the other large and yellow.. It is believed that the large eye uses it to see objects against the dim light from the surface, while the smaller eye uses it to peer into the dark seabed.

But, in addition, another of its peculiarities is the tone of its skin. The popular name of the squid, in fact, alludes to the rich red pigmentation of its skin and the presence of photophores (organs that produce light) throughout your bodygiving it a strong resemblance to a strawberry with seeds.

This species lives in the mesopelagic zone of the ocean and can be found in the California Current and the Humboldt Current in the Pacific. Little is known about their specific feeding and mating behaviors, but It is part of the diet of well-known species, such as tuna, some sharks or sperm whales.

“It’s a beautiful example of how they live in these two very different environments,” says Jon Ablett, senior manager for molluscs at the Natural History Museum in London.

Although the strawberry squid (Histioteuthis heteropsis) has been known to science for decades, scientists recently caught a specimen on an expedition to the remote Atlantic islands of Ascension and Saint Helena. Using an ultraviolet torch to illuminate it, the small body of the squid shone all over in the form of ruby-red spots.

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“When you get to about 15 centimeters, suddenly everything glows red, and the closer you get, the stronger the color,” said James Maclaine, senior fish officer at the Natural History Museum. “It’s really impressive,” he remarked.

As far as he knows, no other scientist has attempted to shine ultraviolet light on deep-sea animals. Maclaine found that some have bright red spots, like the jewel squid and viperfish, and some, like the lanternfish, don’t.

Emits light from its body

The small photophores that it has distributed throughout its body are used mainly for two purposes: counterlighting and blending in with the environment. And it is that the squid produces blue light through its photophores, so when viewed from above it blends in with the descending sunlight and actually hides its silhouette. This type of bioluminescence is characterized by constant light production. But when he wants to flee from his predators, he uses another type of lighting that is characterized by brief bursts of bright light or ‘flashes’‘.

Within marine food webs, the H. heteropsis plays an important role in the diets of tunas, porpoises, blue sharks, sperm whales, elephant seals, and albatrosses. Not much is known about the diet of H. heteropsis itself, although limited assessments of stomach contents show that they feed on smaller fish, crustaceans, and squid.

In 1913, Berry discovered the strawberry squid and recognized it as a member of the Histioteuthis family due to its large number of photophores. Based on significant morphological traits, it appears to be closely related to H. meleagro teuthis and H. bonnellii.

According to a 2010 assessment by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) , strawberry squid is classified as least concern. There are no known threats to the species and no population information is available. The IUCN recommends that further research be done on the species to determine details about its population and ecological role.

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