MAR 01, 2016 11:46 AM PST

Researchers Witness Squid Using Ink to Ambush Prey for the First Time

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

For the first time, researchers have managed to catch a squid using its inking abilities to baffle prey it intends to catch on video. This is a unique action that a squid can take to get the upper hand against its prey, but it has never actually been recorded before.
 

A Japanese Pygmy Squid uses its ink on the offensive.


In the video demonstration, the squid in the recording is a Japanese Pygmy Squid and is seen inking shrimp as a part of its ambush.
 

 
During the study to learn more about the behavior of the Japanese Pygmy Squid, a grand total of 54 specimens were taken into captivity in 2014 and have been intermittently recorded with a camera since then.
 
Over the lapse of time, the team was able to catch the squids using ink as a means to ambush their prey a grand total of 17 times.
 
It’s a unique course of action taken by the squids because they’re typically known to use this ability to help shield themselves from predators by using the inky smokescreen as a quick getaway.
 
“This is the first report that cephalopods use ink for predation,” says Noriyosi Sato of Aberystwyth University, UK. “This means they use ink as a tool, and it is a concrete example that squid have intelligence.”
 
More interestingly, the squids used various approach tactics while using their ink to get close enough to their prey to devour it.
 
The squids may have opted to use the ink to baffle their prey instead because they could sense no threats and felt like the top dog while in captivity, although the fact that it’s the first reported observance of this occurring shows that the squids are consciously aware of their abilities and will use it whenever they see necessary.
 
Additional research on this behavior may help shed some light on why exactly the Japanese Pygmy Squids acted this way – a behavior not known to be very common.

Source: New Scientist

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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