April 13, 2022 at 6:28 pm

The Elusive Strawberry Squid Has Beautifully Mismatched Eyes

by Matthew Gilligan

Many of the ocean’s creatures remain elusive so sometimes when footage is captured of a certain species, it’s cause for celebration.

The folks at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) used a remotely operated vehicle called the Doc Ricketts to capture 4K footage of a strawberry squid, also known as a Histioteuthis heteropsis in an area of Monterey Bay known as “The Twilight Zone.”

The Doc Ricketts was nearly 2,400 feet below the surface when it filmed the strawberry squid with mismatched eyes.

The researchers at MBARI said, “The big left eye looks upward to spot shadows cast by prey in the dimly lit waters above. The eye’s tubular shape helps collect as much downwelling light as possible. Often, this eye has a yellow lens to see through the luminescent camouflage of its prey. The squid’s right eye is small and looks downward. This eye searches for flashes of bioluminescence produced by prey or predators lurking in the darker waters below.”

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