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Flying squid use jet propulsion out of the water

OB

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#1
This paper has some interesting info on Sepioteuthis, which I wasn't aware of, but the real prize is a picture taken, showing Ommastrephid squid actively using jet propulsion out of the water to power their flight.

Just in case folks aren't aware, several types of squid actually take to behaviour similar to that of flying fishes, using both spread out arms and fins to enable gliding. Please find a picture of a group of Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis, airborne, always reminding me a lot of Alberto Santos Dumont' s early airplane design :smile:



(image courtesy of Mitsuaki Iwago)

And this is the plane I was referring to.



Natura artis magistra :wink:
 

tonmo

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#2
Hey, that link doesn't seem to work (I'm on iPhone so not sure if it's just me). Great pic you posted, tho.
 

OB

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#3
OK... Might be the mobile access thing.... Anyway, here's the pic in question



Yes, that's flying squid, jetting out "strings" of water (droplets). It allows them to accelerate to 7.2 meters per second. The longest recorded flight was 55 meters, at a maximum altitude of 6 meters, that is pretty impressive! I think that beats the Wright flyer :wink:
 

tonmo

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#8
That's great, thanks level_head. My new desktop background on my PC is
.
 

DWhatley

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#9
Clicking on the photos really gives you a feel for how unusual that must have been to see. The siphon assist is quite clear in one of them.
 

OB

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#10
Aren't they gorgeous?
 

DWhatley

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#11
That was my first throught. I have only seen the Caribbean reef squid in situ and only once (many, many years ago) and did not know for many years if the group we saw were squid or cuttlefish (:grin:). They did not display any bright colors but, had we known more about them, we would have lingered with the group longer and observed more closely.
 

ckeiser

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#12
This might be the scifi geek in me, but imagine this...

We know S. sepioidea has one of largest repertoires of signaling body patters in the cephalopods. What if they communicate with conspecifics using visual signals during flight!? The tentacular equivalent of two fighter jet pilots communicating via radio?

I doubt this does occur, as the amount of environmental stress on a squid out of water are so great they probably wouldn't waste resources for signaling until safely back in the water. Still a cool thought...
 

tonmo

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#13
That's a great thought. Someone should get out there with a high-speed video camera and capture exactly how it goes - out of water, in air, and back in.
 

Tintenfisch

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#14
Spectacular shots! Some species of Onychoteuthis do this too. Collection details from the original description of O. bergii translate (from German) as follows: ‘Our two specimens came to us as part of the rich inheritance of specimens from our brave Bergius, who died in the Cape of Good Hope in January of this year of tuberculosis, the victim of his own tireless efforts at collecting and observing plants and animals. His journal from the voyage reveals that these specimens flew on board the ship one night. One was found the following morning on the foredeck, the other in the crow’s nest, thirty feet above the sea surface, more evidence to support Aristotle’s remarks on their power of flight. The very elastic lateral flaps or fins may be of particular use in this respect. This occurred in May, 1816, approximately 100 miles west of the Cape. I have heard from other seafarers that other similar animals were collected in this way at about the same time.'

Lichtenstein, K.M.H. (1818) Onychoteuthis, Sepien mit Krallen. Isis, 1818, 1591–1592.
 

OB

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#15
What an excellent resource!
 

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