The recent unprecedented video footage of a giant squid filmed in its deep ocean habitat has renewed interest in the enormous — and yet still mysterious — species. It’s believed that giant squid (genus Architeuthis) can grow up to 55 feet long. The individual captured on video via a small submarine located in the North Pacific Ocean was about 30 feet long and silver and gold in color, marine biologist Edie Widder, who helped to shoot the footage, said. Her colleague Tsunemi Kubodera added that the squid was missing its two longest tentacles.
A team of researchers led by scientists from the American Museum of Natural History has released the first report of widespread biofluorescence in the tree of life of fishes, identifying more than 180 species that glow in a wide range of colors and patterns.
Published today in PLOS ONE, the research shows that biofluorescence—a phenomenon by which organisms absorb light, transform it, and eject it as a different color—is common and variable among marine fish species, indicating its potential use in communication and mating. The report opens the door for the discovery of new fluorescent proteins that could be used in biomedical research.
Late on the morning of April 3, the expedition ship Alucia rocked violently on the South Atlantic Ocean in the middle of a squall. On the aft deck, the crew huddled together in rain slickers and gazed across the heaving seas to a yellow blur on the horizon.
This was an unmanned reconnaissance submarine carrying 15,000 photographs that they were nearly desperate to see. But it had buoyed to the surface just as the squall sprang up, and with 30-knot winds and four-foot swells that splashed over the stern, it was too dangerous to retrieve the sub. So they watched and waited.