Invertebrate Paleontology

How do squids escape predators and prey on others?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. Squids are the most intelligent type of invertebrate, thanks to a highly developed brain. Below the squid’s head is a funnel, which it uses to excrete waste, propel itself and squirt ink. To escape a predator, a squid can suck water into its muscular mantle cavity behind its head and then force the water out through the funnel. The force of the water propels the squid backward at a rate of up to 25 body lengths per second. Before fleeing, a squid can release a cloud of sepia through its funnel that forces an attacker to pause. If the squid decides not to flee, he can rely on his camouflaging skills to save him. Squids have thousands of chromatophores, or pigment cells, attached to muscles on their arms that allow them to change their skin colors or patterns to blend in with their surroundings.

    To find their own food, squids stalk their prey. For example, the vampire squid isn’t as menacing as its name implies - even to its prey. It just remains still and waits until dinner comes to it, and then catches the prey in its webbed arms. The vampire squid got its name from its red, glowing eyes, black body and webbed arms that resemble Dracula’s cape. It’s part of its own order, Vampyromorpha, and the Latin name is Vampyroteuthis infernalis, or “vampire squid from hell.”

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