Sunday, 16 December 2012

Smile Fish

This squid has always got a smile on its face! The skin pigmentation of this little deep-water squid gives it a huge grin, while the tentacles seem to form a mass of curly 'hair', combining to give it an almost cartoon appearance. The Piglet squid, Helicocranchia pfefferi, is roughly the size of a small avocado, and is common in the deep water of virtually all oceans, living at depths of around 100m/320ft.

Its common name comes from its habit of filling up with water and the unique location of its Syphon, with a wild-looking tuft of eight arms and two tentacles. Its body is almost totally clear so that it reveals the dark-coloured internal organs. The piglet squid is a sluggish swimmer with ammonium ions in its body fluid that helps keep it Bouyant. A large light-producing organ (photophore) is located beneath each of its large eyes.
The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium collected this specimen.


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