Dinner Time in the Deep

[From Deep-Sea Life 17]

Ami Everett

Blue Latitudes

Contact: ami@bluelatitudes.org

Offshore energy operators commonly utilize remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to inspect the integrity of their equipment. Although recording marine life is not the primary purpose of these surveys, industry ROVs often capture more than just subsea infrastructure. While inspecting equipment in the Gulf of Mexico at 2500-foot water depth, an industry ROV stumbled upon a rare and spectacular sight – a whiplash squid at dinner time! In this photo, the whiplash squid (family Mastigoteuthidae) is seen with its prey, likely a cusk eel, captured in its tentacles. These deep-sea creatures hunt by dangling their long whip-like tentacles equipped with microscopic suckers to trap prey as they swim by. As the ROV documented the scene, the cusk eel made a break for it and was able to free itself from the whiplash squid. In the end, the cusk eel lived to see another day and the whiplash squid disappeared back into the darkness.

Visit https://www.rig2reefexploration.org/ for more information.

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