Invertebrate Paleontology

How long do squids live, and how many kinds are there?
Answered by Science Channel
  • Science Channel

    Science Channel

  1. Squids don’t live very long - usually just about a year. Typically, they die shortly after they mate. However, it’s possible that deep-water squids live longer; not much is known about them yet. Squids start out as miniature versions of their parents and eat plankton until they mature. The female squid stores thousands of eggs in her ovary and the male squid produces sperm in his testis and stores it in a sac. They reproduce sexually. The male uses a special arm to put his sperm in the female’s mantle or near her mouth, where her eggs are. The female squid then releases a mass of fertilized eggs and hides them in holes or under rocks. It takes about four to eight weeks until the babies hatch.

    There are about 300 species of squid. The ones that live in shallow water belong to the myopsida suborder. They have a transparent membrane over their eyes and suckers instead of hooks on their tentacles. Some common types of myopsida squid are:

    • California market squid (Loligo opalescens), which lives close to the shore in the eastern Pacific Ocean
    • Common European squid (Loligo vulgaris), which lives in the Mediterranean Sea and eastern Atlantic Ocean
    • Caribbean reef squid (Sepioteuthis sepioidea), which lives in the Caribbean Sea and off of Florida’s coast

    Only squids belonging to the oegopsida suborder have hooks on their tentacles. The oegopsida squids don’t have corneas and live far out in the ocean and in the deep sea. Some members of the oegopsida suborder include:

    • Shortfin squid (Illex illecebrosus), which lives in the Atlantic Ocean from Florida up to Newfoundland
    • Deep-sea luminescent squid (Taningia danae), which lives in the North Atlantic and off of Bermuda, Hawaii, Japan, Australia and New Zealand
    • Humboldt squid (Dosidicus gigas), which lives in the eastern Pacific

    More answers from Science Channel »

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