Posted tagged ‘humboldt squid’

Cannibalistic, Jumbo Squid Invading California!

January 8, 2013

Humboldt squid– – It may alarm some to hear that hundreds of blob-like squid are invading California; on the other hand, some might think that this was inevitable, or that they might just be assimilated to become Californians.  The squid are big suckers known as Humboldt squid, who can reach up to six feet and weigh as much as 100 pounds.  They normally live at depths of 660 to 2,300 feet in the eastern Pacific.

Humboldts have been known to attack humans and are nicknamed “red devils” for their rust-red coloring and mean streak, and can hunt in schools of up to 1,200 individuals.  First washing up dead on the beaches off San Diego, California, the squid have been emerging from the depths recently, roughing up unsuspecting divers, some of whom report tentacles enveloping their masks and yanking at their cameras and gear…that’s right, squid thugs!  As the animals taste with their tentacles, they may be touching divers and their wet suits to determine if they are edible.

Humboldts are cannibalistic, and in addition to eating lanternfish, shrimp, and mollusks have been known to eat other Humboldt squid that have been captured in nets.  Over 800 of the jumbo squid were hooked in the Pacific Ocean off Orange County in Southern California in just 45 minutes last Saturday.  Gradual warming of the ocean, pollution, and over-fishing of large predators are felt to be contributing to the territorial expansion of the squid…

Humboldt Squid Beaching!

July 14, 2009


— They were having a terrible, no-good, very bad day in La Jolla, California.  First there was a 4.0 magnitude earthquake centered 19 miles out in the ocean, then dozens of 3-to 4-foot long Humboldt squid weighing up to 40 lbs. washed ashore and flopped around, dazed and disoriented and probably appalled at California’s real estate prices…

…then to add to the eww factor, seagulls swooped in and started feeding on the squid! — How’s that rate on the grossness scale?  This caused well-intentioned beachgoers to try and save the squid (gotta be a T-shirt slogan there!) by tossing them back in the sea, and we’re talking big, wet, slippery, heavy squid here!  The squid were so loopy by this point that even when thrown back, they tended to wash ashore again.  There’s no helping some cephalopods…they just don’t listen.

So a fun time was had by all, excepting, of course, the squid.  Water  temperature inversions rather than the earthquake could have been the cause of the beachings…calamari, anyone?