Ten Sensational Squids: The Creepy (#8) and The Cute (#7)
January 20, 2010
The next two squids in the countdown are not very well known, but both have achieved a small degree of Internet fame…which is similar to actual fame only not nearly as impressive.
8. Promachoteuthis sulcus
P. sulcus is known from a single specimen collected in the south Atlantic at a depth of 1759-2000 meters. The holotype* is an immature female with a mantle length of 25mm. Its diagnostic characteristics include tentacles that are thicker at their base than the arms, and arm suckers that are bigger than the suckers on the tentacle clubs. However, the thing that got this obscure little squid noticed was this photo of its mouth, showing what seem to be disturbingly human-like teeth.
*A holotype is a single example of a specimen used to formally define a species.
These “teeth” are actually the circular, folded lips that surround the squid’s beak (which isn’t visible in this photo). Not long ago, this photo started making its way around the Internet, eventually getting the inevitable Lolcat treatment. Like so…
Considering that P. sulcus doesn’t have a common name yet, I think “Lolsquid” would be quite fitting.
7. Helicocranchia sp. (Piglet Squid)
Piglet Squid belong to the Cranchiidae (aka cranch squids, aka glass squids), a family of squids that include some of the smallest and largest known cephalopods. There are at least three species of Helicocranchia (although there may be as many as 14), and these small (mantle length ~100 mm) oceanic squids are found in tropical and subtropical waters world-wide. They are characterized by extremely large funnels that extend beyond their beaks and which resemble the snouts of pigs (hence the common name). Additionally, their arms jut out over the eyes like a shock of hair, and they have very tiny, and adorable, paddle-shaped fins. (Inset photo of Helicocranchia sp. by SERPENT Project.)
Basically, they look like Pokémon.
Helicocranchia, I CHOOSE YOU!