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.

Proboscis Monkey: Does Size Matter?

The Proboscis monkey is a primate found on the southeastern Asian island of Borneo. Also known as the long-nosed monkey due to its abnormally oversized nose it is easily recognized. Along with its long nose, it is covered in multi-colored fur. Its hair is reddish-brown near the head and neck, light-brown around the body and arms, and grey at the torso and legs.

So, why does this monkey have such a large nose? Scientists are not exactly sure why the Proboscis monkey has developed such as large nose but they do know that it is related to mating. It is believed that the larger the nose the more attractive a male might be. This can be due to the visual size but, it is also believed that a larger nose is correlated with louder mating calls. Louder matting calls mean that they can be heard by more females and have a better chance of reproducing. Adaptations that increase the ability to reproduce will have a greater chance of being expressed. This is the reason Proboscis monkeys have large noses.

If you haven’t heard of the Proboscis monkey it is not a surprise. These primates are slowly going endangered. The reason for this is due to the damage and destruction of their natural habitats and food sources. Their diet consists of leaves, fruits, and sometimes insects. The increase in oil palm plantations and logging in the area has reduced the accessibility to these necessary nutrients as well as a safe home.

While living in the forests and mangroves of southeastern Asia, they face some of the most dangerous predators. These include leopards, humans, crocodiles, and more! To evade these predators they have developed webbed feet and hands to swim across rivers and lakes as well as their natural ability to climb trees.

The Probiscis money can range drastically between females and males. Males can reach weights of 50 pounds while females will only reach weights of 20 pounds. The male will also be about 2.5 feet in height while the female will be about 2 feet in height.