Humboldt squid is a marine animal which has gained lot of attention from researchers in recent years. This animal is also called jumbo flying squid, jumbo squid, and Diablo rojo, which means red devil in Spanish. Their scientific name is Dosidicus gigas.
These squids are large in size and often inhabit the waters of Eastern Pacific Ocean. Till date, approximately 300 different species of squids have been identified. Marine biologists believe that several more are still in the deep waters unidentified. The shy humboldt squid is most common squid discussed about due to its special behavioral traits.
It belongs to the family of cephalopods, ommastrephidae in particular. Often due to its aggressive nature, people refer to it as the silent monster as well. Their name is associated with the Humboldt current in the Pacific Ocean where they reside. They have the ability to change the color of their skin to red when they are excited or angry. They splash a black colored ink when attacked.
They have a symmetrical body along their horizontal axis. These are approximately 6 to 7 feet in length and weigh 100 pounds. Their life span is only for a year. Their sheer weight makes them a difficult catch. Their physical characteristics include a head, mantle, two fins shaped like diamond used for swimming, four pairs of arms, two tentacles near the mouth and a beak as big as a baseball which is used to consume prey.
Recent surveys have found them to inhabit not just Humboldt currents in the pacific but waters in Alaska as well. This expansion of their habitat is associated with the global warming and increase in the water temperature. They reside in the deep almost 660 to 2,300 feet from the surface and come up only for hunting especially at nights. They hunt small fishes, cephalopods, crustaceans and copepods. They attack bigger marine animals like sharks if they feel threatened. They make prey for other predators like sperm whales, sharks, and sword fish. When attacked, they leap out of the water to cover distances faster and escape from their predators.
They live in groups called shoals, which are made up of almost 1,200 squids. During times when food is short in supply, they even hunt smaller members of their own kind. Although sufficient proof is not available, these cephalopods are believed to lay their eggs and bury them in the sand and reproduce once in its life time.
They are hunted for their meat which is consumed in Mexico, Italy, Europe and Asia.