An marine biologist had a "once in a lifetime" encounter with the rare and amazing squid off the coast of Australia this month.
Jacinta Shackleton, a videographer and photographer, has been capturing wildlife in the Great Barrier Reef for the past three years as a content creator for Queensland's tourism and events. On January 6, Shackleton wrote on Instagram that she had seen the elusive squid while snorkeling near Lady Elliot Island.
"When I first saw it, I thought it might have been a young fish with long fins, but as it got closer, I realized it was a female squid, and I had this overwhelming sense of joy and excitement. , "Shackleton told The Guardian. "I kept yelling through my snorkel, 'It's a blanket of squid!' I was so excited that I had a hard time holding my breath to dive in and film it. "
The opulent squid, found around coral reefs in subtropical and tropical oceans, gets its name from its mantle-like webs that enclose its tentacles, often used to scare off predators. They are immune to jellyfish bites and will use torn jellyfish tentacles to hunt prey like small fish.
"The blankets can be folded under the squid's arms to provide a faster escape if needed. This mantle can be removed when the squid is in need, to distract or cling to a predator," says the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
The fund said it is fatal for the species to mate because the male "uses up all his resources" while breaking off a third arm and dying shortly after. The females will lay more than 100,000 eggs until they hatch. The female dies so normally.
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She is the creature Shackleton Saw, and the species has the "largest sex size difference in the animal kingdom," according to the foundation. The females are more than 6 feet long, while the males measure 2.4 centimeters, about the size of a thumb. The females weigh 40,000 times more than the males.
A male squid had not been observed until 2002, according to the New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research. Shackleton told The Guardian that she believes the creature has only been seen three times before in the area.
"Seeing one in real life is indescribable, I was so fascinated by its movements, it was as if it was dancing through the water with a floating mantle. The vibrant colors are just so incredible, you can't take your eyes off it," he said. Shackleton for outlet. "I really have never seen anything like it before and I do not think I will ever do it again in my life."
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