Friday, February 12th, 2010
Squid Invasion Off California Coast
In the winter of 2005, Humboldt squid were seen in high abundance in Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary off the northern coast of California. (Credits: Credit: Scot Anderson, NOAA)
In recent years, Humboldt squid have been spotted in increasing numbers off the coast of California. The squid are very adaptable, quite intelligent, and can reach 7 feet long and weigh 100 pounds. Theories for the increase in squid numbers along the coast include reductions in predator populations, as well as the possibility that the squid are following low-oxygen zones in subsurface currents. We'll talk about the invasion of the jumbo squid, and possible causes for the phenomenon.
Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and of Marine and Organismal Biology
Hopkins Marine Station
Pacific Grove, California
SAN DIEGO - Jumbo flying squid -- aggressive 5-foot-long sea monsters with razor-sharp beaks and toothy tentacles -- have invaded the shallow waters off San Diego, spooking scuba divers and washing up dead on tourist-packed beaches.
The carnivorous calamari, which can grow up to 100 pounds, came up from the depths last week and swarms of them roughed up unsuspecting divers. Some divers report tentacles enveloping their masks and yanking at their cameras and gear.
Stories of too-close encounters with the alien-like cephalopods have chased many veteran divers out of the water and created a whirlwind of excitement among the rest, who are torn between their personal safety and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to swim with the deep-sea giants.