Stubby squid with a sticky mucous jacket

The team on the Exploration Vessel Nautilus was exploring the sea floor off the coast of California with a remotely operated vehicle when they spied this little guy, 900 metres below the surface.

The stubby squid (Rossia pacifica) is more closely related to cuttlefish than squid. While its brilliant purple hue makes it stand out in this video, it exudes mucous and burrows into the sediment to camouflage, where it waits for prey such as shrimp and small fish.

Rossia pacifica is found in the northern Pacific from Japan to Southern California. It’s most commonly seen up to 300 metres deep, but specimens have been collected at 1,000 metres.

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