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What the vampire squid really eats

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI)

For years marine biologists have puzzled over what the mysterious vampire squid eats. Recent research by Henk-Jan Hoving and Bruce Robison at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute finally reveals the answer. These deep-sea creatures use long, retractile filaments to passively harvest particles and aggregates of detritus, or marine snow, sinking from the waters above. This feeding strategy, unknown in any other cephalopod (this group of animals includes squid and octopods), allows vampire squid to thrive in the oxygen minimum zone where there are few predators but marine detritus is abundant.

Video script & narration: Henk-Jan Hoving
Video editing: Kyra Schlining
Production support: Bruce Robison, Nancy Jacobsen Stout, Susan vonThun, Lonny Lundsten, Linda Kuhnz

Bioluminescence footage courtesy of NHK, Japan.

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posted by ansimanteyj