Giant Squid: Gigantisms Scariest

The Giant Squid was thought to be a legend for many years. However, the Giant Squid truly roams the deep oceans, fighting whales and preying on animals. The Giant Squid is an example of deep-sea gigantism with lengths of females growing up to 13 meters or 43 feet! Deep-sea gigantism is the idea that animal counterparts that dwell in the deep parts of the ocean will grow tremendously in size when compared to those in shallower areas. This is due to the vast size of the deep ocean and the ability to expand is immense.

If you are traveling the oceans, do not be worried about your boat or ship being attacked by one of these squids. First off, there are thought to be only around 700 in the entire world! Although they can be found in nearly every ocean in the world, they are typically found at depths of 1,000- 2,000 feet deep and rarely come near the surface. So, the chance of you coming in contact and getting attacked is extremely rare.

The Giant Squids’ body is exactly like other squids. They have eight tentacles with suckers that help grip on to objects and prey and they have two feeding tentacles that act like hands to bring food to their mouths.

At the top of the squid, it has two flaps called its fins. These help guide and direct the animal in the correct direction. Below the fins is the mantle. The mantle is a portion of skin that covers the main body of the squid. In some squid, this area is highly developed with chromatophores. These specialized skin cells can change colors to hide from predators and attract a partner for mating.

The giant squid’s eyes are very unique. It has one large eye and one small eye, each on different sides of its body. This configuration of eyes is extremely useful when defending itself from predators but, having only one eye on each side of the body results in a loss of depth perception.

The Giant Squids’ diet consists of many of the same things as squids that are in shallower parts of the sea. They use their tentacles to trap shrimp, fish, and possibly oven small whales or sharks. Even though a Giant Squid consuming a large animal like a whale has never been seen, many of these animals return from the deep with suction cup wounds and marks that are related to a Giant Squid.

Maned Wolf: Definitely a Werewolf

The Maned Wolf is a very unique animal found in South America. It looks as if a person actually turned into a werewolf! It resembles a fox with its reddish hair, pointy ears, and black stripe on its neck. But, it also resembles a wolf with its standing at 3 feet tall and a weight of 55 pounds with long legs. What if I told you that this animal wasn’t related to either one! The Maned Wolf or C. brachyurus is a mammal that is the only species in the genus Chrysocyon.

The Maned wolf is still considered a Canine and is the largest in South America. They can typically be found in the grasslands and forests of Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. Although they can be found in numerous countries they are not thriving well. Their population has been on a steady decline due to hunting and their habitats being destroyed. They are near threatened animals and many countries like Peru and Brazil have no hunting laws.

The Maned Wolf does not live for very long, with the median age being 6.5 years. This is also another reason it is easy for their populations to decline. Individuals do not have as much time as other mammals to reproduce and double their population. You may wonder why their lifespan is so low? This is not due to hunting or predators. In fact, they face very few threats from predators. The only major predators they face are the large cats of South America (Jaguars and sometimes Pumas). The reason for their lifespan is purely due to their biology and genetics.

The reason for the Maned wolf’s long legs is to help them hunt. Living in environments where the grass is tall and not controlled, it can be hard to see far distances. Thus, their long legs give them the ability to see from above the grass and hunt their prey. Their prey includes things like small animals (rabbits), insects, and rodents.

Wombat: Friendly or Deadly

The Wombat is a quadricep marsupial that is native to the continent of Australia. They have a thick fur brown coat, usually, and look as if you miniaturized a brown bear. Even though these animals may look cute and look like they cause no harm, they are extremely aggressive and can be fatal if threatened. Their main form of defense and aggression is to flee the area back to their burrow. There, they will wait with their teeth to attack a predator or anything that comes near it. They will also wait for the predator to come near the burrow and use their rump to smash the attacker’s head against the roof of the burrow, ultimately killing the danger.

Photo by Karen Laårk Boshoff on Pexels.com

One of the most unique characteristics of the Wombat is their ability to grow rootless teeth. Usually, marsupials will have a few layers of teeth that grow in and that is it, similar to humans. However, Wombats can continually replace their teeth with new ones. This reduces the chance of losing the ability to defend itself as well as eat certain foods. When thinking of marsupials, the first one that comes to head is a kangaroo. They hop on their hind legs and have a long tails. Wombats do not do this and thus do not need a long tail to aid in their movement and balance. Instead, they have adapted long front paws that aid in their ability to dig a burrow for a safe place to hide.

As you begin to learn about Wombats you may realize that they are a force to be reconned with. But, what do these warriors of Australia eat? To your surprise, those never-ending teeth like sharks and big front claws like lions do not help them catch prey. Wombats are herbivores and mostly eat grasses, herbs, roots, and bark. Their body has even adapted to obtain most of their water from food and they can live years without drinking water.

If you are ever in Australia and wondering where you might find one of these marsupials, you can look almost anywhere from wet and dry lands to forests and slopes. Wombats are adapted for almost anything and just want a place where the soil is easy for them to dig in. If you do come across a Wombat, you can expect a 60-pound animal that is 3 feet in length and can run up to 25 miles per hour.