Scientists have published the full genome sequence of the mysterious giant squid, which seems to hint at the creature's high intelligence. An international research team found that their genes look a lot like other animals – with a genome size not far behind that of humans. The mysterious squid, Architeuthius dux, has eyes as big as dinner plates and tentacles that snatch prey from 10 yards away. Its average length is around 33 feet – approximately the size of an average-sized school bus. But these legendary creatures are notoriously elusive and sightings are rare, making them difficult to study.
With their peculiar movement, deep-sea habitat, and surprisingly huge genomes, squid have fascinated humans for centuries. And now, for the first time, scientists have put the cephalopods in an MRI to get a better look at their brains -- revealing that they are much more like another animal beloved to humans than we realized. That's right: Your calamari has a brain just about as complex as a dog. Scientists used an MRI machine to get a good look at the brain of a juvenile reef squid. They were able to identify 145 previously unknown pathways and connections, which could help unravel the mystery behind a nifty squid skill -- camouflage.
Although many fish species are in serious decline due to rising ocean temperatures and over fishing, it seems squid and octopuses are flourishing. The cephalopods have increased in numbers over the past 60 years, according to new research. Squid, octopuses and cuttlefish are known to be highly adaptable and grow rapidly, which may be giving them an advantage as ocean environments change. Cephalopods, which include octopus, squid (pictured) and cuttlefish, have increased their numbers over the last 60 years due to their ability to adapt to changing environments. An international team of biologists, led by researchers at the University of Adelaide, compiled a database of global catch rates of cephalopod to investigate long-term trends in abundance.
You socialize with family and friends, you solve puzzles and make choices. Humans may be some of the most cerebral animals on the planet, but we know we're not alone in having this sort of behavioral complexity. Primates create incredible social structures. But all of these critters have one thing in common: they're vertebrates. Members of our subphylum share more than just a backbone; our common ancestor gifted us with the sort of structure and central nervous system that lends itself to behavioral complexity.
Octopuses and squid have confirmed their reputation as Earth-bound "aliens" with the discovery that they can edit their own genetic instructions. Unlike other animals, cephalopods – the family that includes octopuses, squid and cuttlefish – do not obey the commands of their DNA to the letter. Instead, they sometimes interfere with the code as it is being carried by a molecular "messenger". This has the effect of diversifying the proteins their cells can produce, leading to some interesting variations. The system may have produced a special kind of evolution based on RNA editing rather than DNA mutations and could be responsible for the complex behaviour and high intelligence seen in cephalopods, some scientists believe.