Deep Sea Species Such as the Vampire Squid Are Now Threatened by New Dangers
The climate crisis is threatening deep sea life.
The vampire squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis) is neither a vampire nor really a squid.
This fascinating creature lives deep under our oceans and is an example of a "living fossil” creature - an animal that has not changed for hundreds of millions of years.
There is still much we don’t know about our oceans despite them containing the greatest biomass, and the greatest number of organisms in the living world. Most of our knowledge of the deep ocean comes from examining the ocean floor.
Only about 1% of the biome has been explored in the space between the ocean floor and the ocean's surface. The deep pelagic organisms that live here make up the largest and least-known creatures on Earth. There is much more for us to learn about this crucial group of creatures.
However, the race is on between knowledge accumulation and a massive loss of species. The threats to pelagic biodiversity are broad. These threats include water temperature rising, changes in acidity and saline levels and increased shipping and fishing patterns.
The vampire squid is just one species under threat by the changes occurring due to human activity. Scientists are working hard to discover as much as they can about these rarely seen creatures.
When startled the squid folds its hood over its body and curls its tentacles so that it resembles a totally new shape.
To escape predators it uses jet propulsion, fin flapping, and web pulses to escape quickly. Unfortunately, it can’t escape from the threats it doesn't even know exist.