Paul VandeCarr • Collections's blog

Collection HIghlight - Doc Rickett's Squid

Dosidicus gigas; also known as Jumbo Humboldt Squid

Object Name: Dosidicus gigas; also known as Jumbo Humboldt Squid

About this object:

This squid came to the Museum by way of Ed Ricketts in 1935. Known for his pioneering work on intertidal ecology in Between Pacific Tides as well as his influence on John Steinbeck, Ricketts operated a marine biology supply house known as Pacific Biological Laboratories (PBL.) Among the few specimens that made their way from PBL to the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, this squid is the most notable.

Jumbo Humboldt squids live at depths up to 2300 ft and can grow up to 6 feet and weigh 100 lbs. They hunt in schools of as many as 1200 squids. This squid also changes its color to red when in an excited state, earning it the nickname “Red Devil.” They are known to be curious and intelligent animals.

Jumbo Humboldt squid inhabit the Pacific Ocean from northern California to southern Chile and are believed to have both small scale migration within the Gulf of California, from the Baja peninsula to Guaymas Basin. Humboldt squids were once only rarely spotted off of central California, but following El Nino events which warmed northern waters seemed to have expanded its range northward, being spotted as far North as Alaska.

Come see this spectacular specimen at the Museum. It is currently on display on the Museum’s mezzanine in the Mollusks display. Be sure and see the Museum’s newer specimen in the lobby, courtesy of Stanford Hopkins Marine Station. <Link to http://www-marine.stanford.edu/>

 

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