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.

Koi Fish: Culture Meets Biology

The Koi fish is known for being a symbol of strength, courage, and patience. Known for swimming against the current, the Koi fish symbolizes what it takes to overcome obstacles and challenges that are in your path. Koi fish were believed to originate from rice farmers domesticating carp in China during the 4th century. The breeding between the colorful types of carp resulted in the diversity of Koi fish you see today.

Koi fish do not only have historical and spiritual importance but their biology is fascinating as well. They typically grow between the sizes of 24 to 36 inches but, they can grow up to 52 inches! That is the size of an average 10-year-old boy! They also have extremely long lives for fish. They have the chance to live up to 100 years with the typical range being somewhere between 25 to 35 years. Even though these fish are cold-water fish, they benefit heavily when being placed in waters above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This is because Koi fish that are in waters below 50 degrees Fahrenheit for long periods can begin to develop a weakened immune system. This can reduce the lifespan of the fish as well as decrease overall health.

One of the coolest things about Koi fish is what happens to them when they are placed back into the wild. Since Koi fish is a relatively new species in comparison to other animals, they still have all the genes of their ancestor carps. After a few generations of being left in the wild, they will no longer be identified as a Koi and revert to an Amur Carp.

Stingrays: The Planes Of The Sea

The stingray is no doubt one of the most fascinating creatures you can find in the ocean. Their rubbery skin, long wing-like structure, and massive tail are very unique to their species. The Stingray is a cartilaginous fish that is closely related to sharks. The life span of these fish is currently unknown in the wild but, in human captivity, they live from 5-10 years. They are also very diverse in the size they can reach. Small Stingrays can reach a diameter of a dinner plate or a little less than a foot. Large stingrays can reach up to 16 feet!

The Stingray is a very well-adapted creature for the ocean. Their grey top allows them to blend into the darkness of the ocean if being observed from above. From below, they have a white belly that replicates the brightness of the sun. One of the most amazing things about Stingrays is their ability to sense prey. Similar to sharks, they can detect the biological electrical pulse that other organisms give off. This allows them to locate their prey much more easily. Finally, the Stingray has a sharp spine that sticks off its tail. This spine has sharp ridges that cut anything that touches it. It also has cells that release venom to enter the wound.