More Cephalopods

This 1874 photo of a squid draped over a bathtub was the first ever taken of a giant squid. It belonged to the Reverend Moses Harvey of Newfoundland. More about the giant squid can be found in the...
This transparent cockatoo squid ( Leachia sp.), also known as a glass squid, lives in the depths of the ocean and has many adaptations to help it survive there. It retains ammonia solutions inside...
A specimen from the Smithsonian’s squid collection and videos of a mystery squid helped scientists identify a new family of deep sea squid—the Magnapinnidae, known as the bigfin squids. More about...
This photo shows just a small part of the cephalopod collection at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. Shown here is Dr. Clyde Roper , a zoologist and squid expert. More about the...
I have been at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History since 1966, studying and reporting on all kinds of octopuses and squids . But I’ve always had a particular fascination with the...
by Fox Meyer Squids, octopuses, and cuttlefishes are among the few animals in the world that can change the color of their skin in the blink of an eye. These cephalopods —a group of mollusks with...
Two California market squids ( Loligo opalescens ) mate in the waters off of California's Channel Islands. While spawning, the male's arms blush red as he embraces the female, a warning to other...
A giant squid left this tentacle behind after getting entangled on a hook below a Japanese research vessel, and eventually escaping. An underwater camera took footage of the event—the first time a...
Dampier was not able to collect specimens of fishes and other ocean life. But he had his shipboard artist carefully record the species that Dampier found new and unusual.
Published in 1882 by Yale Professor A.E. Verrill, this is the first scientific illustration of a giant squid. More about the giant squid can be found in the Giant Squid section .
Success! A so-called "dumbo" octopod is chased and finally captured by a suction device on the ROV, skillfully operated by a pilot on the ship above.
The Boreoatlantic armhook squid ( Gonatus fabricii ) is named for its fabulous (but dangerous) suckers. While most squids have just two rows of suckers lining each arm, armhook squids have four—and...
The giant squid is among the largest invertebrates on Earth, but this deep sea creature has rarely been observed by humans -- alive. Over the centuries, many dead giant squid have washed up on the...
In 2006, this female giant squid attacked bait suspended beneath a Japanese research vessel off the coast of Japan in the Ogasawara Islands . This screenshot resulted when the research team pulled...
This nearly complete giant squid washed up on a beach in Norway around 1950. Almost everything we know about giant squid comes from the scientific study of dead specimens like this one. More about...
The blanket octopus can rip a poisonous tentacle from a Portuguese man-o-war and wield it like a sword to ward off enemies as it soars through the ocean trailing its webbed cloak behind it...
Inside the giant squid's sharp beak is a tongue-like organ called the radula (shown in yellow). Covered with rows of tiny teeth, it rams bite size pieces of food down the squid's throat. The pieces...
Smithsonian Zoologist Dr. Clyde Roper (rear) and museum specialist Mike Sweeney examine the mantle of a dead giant squid. Everything we know about giant squid comes from studying specimens found...
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