The chromatophores on a Humboldt squid’s body fade from white to red too rapidly for the human eye to perceive. Scientists think the squid flash as a form of camouflage or to disorient their prey.
These squid can form huge shoals of over 1000 individuals. They take only a year to grow to full size, and that fast growth means a big appetite. Their coloration and aggressive feeding behavior have earned them the nickname “red devils” among Mexican fishermen.
Recently, this species has started spreading northward as far as the coast of Oregon in the United States. If the thought of armies of aggro squid invading your coastline keeps you up at night, take heart: although Humboldts do migrate toward the surface at night to hunt, you’re unlikely to ever encounter one. The upward limit of their migration, 130 meters below the surface, is well below the depth of unassisted divers.
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