A team aboard the research vessel E/V Nautilus spotted a googly-eyed stubby squid off the coast of California at a depth of 900 meters or 2,950 feet on Aug. 12. The marine animal, whose scientific name is Rossia pacifica, is actually more closely related to cuttlefish despite looking like a cross between an octopus and a squid.
Also known as bobtail squid, the stubby squid has a rounder body or mantle than a cuttlefish and does not have cuttlebone, which is the white internal shell. It has the same number of tentacles as squids. Eight have suckers and two longer ones are used to catch food.
The footage of a stationary googly-eyed stubby squid has been uploaded on YouTube, and the biologists can be heard getting excited over it. The video has been seen by more than 730,000 viewers.
The stubby squids can grow up to six centimeters long. Experts say that both male and female die after mating. A female normally lays between 25 and 50 eggs at a time, which measures a centimeter wide each and could hatch within four to nine months.
Rossia pacifica can be seen in the Northern Pacific from Japan to Southern California at depths of 300 meters. Biologists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have also shown that the species can reside up to 1,300 meters or 4,260 feet deep.
The team explains that the species spend life on the seafloor. They usually camouflage themselves, activating a mucus jacket and burrowing into the sediment while sticking their eyes out to find their meal, which usually consists of small fish and shrimp.
Although stubby squids are not often seen in the wild, they can still be seen in aquariums. They can survive in captivity as long as the water is kept cold at eight to 10 degrees Celsius.