This huge squid, 40m long in total, floats near the surface of the sea. They have an incredibly sophisticated display system, using cells in their skin to create complex patterns. When hunting they can imitate shoals of silver swimmers, flashing down their backs, enticing fish down to feed.
The rainbow squid’s large brain enables it to control the way it changes its color and has the ability to change color at will. It can merge with the green of the ocean and hide from sight or flash up a sudden dramatic display to scare away would be predators or to attract a mate. :)
Like other giant squid the rainbow squid has eyes the size of footballs to help it see in the depths of the dark ocean.
At the center of its 8 long thick arms it has a powerful tearing beak.
The rainbow squid can produce a flowing pattern of coloured patches to mimic the swirling motion of a shoal of silver swimmers – bait for the ocean flish on which it feeds. When it is close to its food, it shoots out two powerful tentacles, grabbing its victim and dragging it into its mouth.
Normally rainbow squid are solitary creatures, ranging all across the Global Ocean. Once a year on the night of the full moon, in the autumn, the entire population of rainbow squids gathers to mate.
Females choose males according to their display – the better the display; the more successful the individual is likely to be in hunting and the more likely to produce equally successful offspring.