Squid Intelligence

Nov 5, 2003
I'm really new to this forum and don't quite know how everything works, but here goes.

Q: I'm looking for information on Dosidicus as well as other Squid species concerning their intelligence. I know that Octopus have show that they have basic problem solving abilities, but I want to know just how much is know about Squid and their intelligence.

Can they coordinate in groups?

What abilities do they have as far as communication is concerned?
I heard that Squid can change skin color rapidly, so I’m wondering whether they may communicate with color as well as body language.

There is also the question of why they are so hard to find. My Theory is that they have the know-how to be able to know when they are being watched as well as monitored by marine detection technology. If so, that would explain why they aren’t found. They may have the instinct to stay away from species not of their world... I don't know?

I'm also interested in the Theory that they are cannibals. If it is indeed true that they are, it would re-enforce my belief that they eat their dead or dying, and that is why we seldom find their remains (without the help of deep sea nets).

I have allot of questions, but I also don't know that much about the species. So, if anyone with an idea or input could help me out I would be extremely grateful.

Christopher Lee
:welcome: Christopher

Questions are good!! Not sure about the bahavioural aspects of squid as we don't keep them alive. They're jolly hard to keep (at least the ones here are!) Steve and Kat might know more as they've been keeping Sepioteuthis (I think????Guys??????) Also Fluffysquid might have a feel from working at the NRCC.

But I feel qualified to discuss the cannibalism one!! I've been looking at the diet of the Southern Arrow Squid (Nototodarus sloanii) and it most definitely is a cannibal. Around 15% of the squid had conspecifics in thier gut contents. My feeling is that they're NOT taking the dead or dying. Most of the remains were not of large animals but ones of a similar size to the consumer! (My specimens were small). The Warty squid (Moroteuthis ingens) is also known to be a cannibal.

As for being hard to find?? Well hold on to your hat here comes some wild speculation :biggrin2: :madsci:

Squid lack air spaces so can be hard to detect with acoustic fishfinders. Sound typically bounces off of the fish swim bladder.

Squid probably have acute senses and are very mobile....so it is possible they see the net coming and avoid it!! They may also have a lateral line analog (there is a Budelmann paper on this but I forget the exact reference). If this is so then they will feel vibrations and avoid nets etc.



Diet refs.
Sorry I haven't published the Arrow squid stuff yet! it's for my thesis!!!

Phillips, K. L., Nichols, P. D., Jackson, G. D., 2003. Dietary variations of the squid Moroteuthis ingens at four sites in the Southern Ocean: stomach contents, lipid and fatty acid profiles. J. Mar. Biol. Assn. U. K. vol 83. p. 523-534.

Phillips, K. L., Nichols, P. D., Jackson, G. D., 2003. Size-related dietary changes observed in the squid Moroteuthis ingens at the Falkland Islands: stomach contents and fatty-acid analysis. Polar Biology, vol. 26. p. 474-485.

Phillips, K. L., Nichols, P. D., Jackson, G. D., 2003. Temporal variations in the diet of the squid Moroteuthis ingens at Macquarie Island: stomach contents and fatty-acid analysis
It just so happens that the Budelmann paper arrived for me today... here's the ref:

Budelmann, B.U.; Bleckman, H. 1988. A lateral line analogue in cephalopods: water waves generate microphonic potentials in the epidermal head lines of Sepia and Loliguncula. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 164: 1–5.

Thanks Kat,, I have it somewhere but my desk at the moment looks like a war zone! I think there's wood under all that paper!


Hey I DID it!!! I'm an Architeuthis before my Tonmo anniversary too!!!!!
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