You don’t want to find yourself in the arms of that ancient squid – which is related to the still-living vampire squid.
This type of squid lives at incredible depths, in oxygen-poor water. They mainly eat floating organic particles. The vampire squid and its ancestors are – or were – made of soft tissue.
Hard to find in fossil form. Still, researchers have gotten their hands on a few. Ancient relatives, who must have lived about 200 million years ago. They were only 10 centimeters tall, with 8 arms, an oval-shaped body and two fins.
Using the very latest techniques, they managed to extract new information from the fossils. The pistons in particular – which they already had back then – were impressively sturdy and the nerves needed to detect prey weren’t bad either. Despite the animal’s small size, it was not one you would have liked to encounter as a fish.
No, take today’s vampire squid, named after the color of its skin and the cloak-like webs between its tentacles. It has completely embraced the languid deep-sea underwater life with its eight tentacles.
Read more: It sucked being the prey of ancient cephalopods†
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