dr c's remarkable ocean world

this page last updated January 23, 2005

Jumbo Squid Wash Ashore in Orange County

During the week of January 17, 2005, hundreds of dead and dying Humboldt squid, Dosidicus gigas, (also known as Jumbo Squid) washed up on the shores of Orange County, California. Oceanographers are uncertain as to why these squid travel so far from their native hunting grounds off the coast of South America but likely they follow food and warm water north. They have been observed as far north as British Columbia on the west coast of North America. Preliminary analyses of stomach contents indicate that these squid were not starved for food. Furthermore, their widespread die off of many size ranges (i.e, maturity) suggests an environmental cause, possibly temperature or oxygen. See also http://www.dal.ca/~ceph/TCP/Dosidicusgigas.html

Jumbo squid found in Alaska in October 2004 [PDF of MSNBC report]

A Review of the Biology of Jumbo Squid, 2001, Nigmatullin et al.

Here are some images of one specimen and several onlookers taken at Crystal Cove State Beach on January 20, 2005. Hopefully, they may help shed some insights on these enigmatic but fascinating creatures.

Caution: These are large downloads, 0.5 - 1.5 MB each.


seagull eating squid

pecked squid

fresh whole squid

head & mantle

squid eye

pigment cells: chromatophores

fin used for propulsion

uci neuroscientist

suckers with chitinous hooks

body pigmentation

squid & feet for scale

HDN camera crew

parrot-like beak

beak that could snap a finger

sean & squid.jpg