Scuba divers encounter bizarre and beautiful squid hunting at night
Squid are one of the most bizarre creatures in the ocean. They are tube shaped animals with large eyes and strange looking appendages, covered in tiny, gripping suction cups. Their arms are capable of grabbing prey or adopting a defensive posture to discourage predators. Surprisingly intelligent, they are among the smartest of all invertebrate animals. Closely related to the octopus and the cuttlefish, they are capable of complex memory skills and problem solving behaviour. They are able to learn visually and they can develop understanding through watching other animals. They are even able to recognize animals that they had seen through the egg sacs while they were still unhatched.
The squid has an advanced system of communication with other squid, using changes in its body to give off light and colour signals to others. They can even display different messages simultaneously on either side of their bodies.
Squid often hunt in packs and assist each other to capture food. Although the larger squid, such as Humboldt Squid, are a serious threat to almost any animal, including humans, these Caribbean reef squid are perfectly harmless. They hunt fish and small crustaceans, capturing them by shooting out two of their rubbery arms to latch onto prey and pull it into the mouth where their sharp beak delivers a paralyzing bite.
Seeing a squid for more than a brief moment is a rare sight for divers and these lucky observers thrilled to have such a display. The squid drifted between the divers in the group and changed colour and arm position, no doubt communicating a message of some sort, likely a warning to keep back. Squid are curious creatures that are likely to watch divers with fascination, although it will rarely last for long.
They are also much more active at night, making them difficult to find.