Flying Squids?

Posted by: KryptoKelly on February 12th, 2013

Scientists have known for quite some time that squid have the capacity for short burst flight, but they’ve only known this through anecdotal accounts. Until recently, they’ve never actually been able to properly document the phenomenon, or get a sense as to how the mollusc pulls it off. Now, thanks to Jun Yamamoto of Hokkaido University, not only have the rumors been proven true — scientists have also figured out the mechanics behind squid flight.

Back in July 2011, Yamamoto and his team were tracking a large group of squid (Todarodes pacificus, also known as neon flying squid) about 370 miles (600 km) off the coast of Tokyo. As the boat got nearer, the 8-inch (20 cm) squid propelled themselves from the water where they remained airborne for a distance of 98 feet (30 meters) — and at the breakneck speed of 37 feet per second (11.2 m/s).

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4 Responses to “Flying Squids?”

  1. PoeticsOfBigfoot responds:

    Sounds like more anecdotal evidence to me.

  2. Goodfoot responds:

    Can pigs be far behind?

  3. alan borky responds:

    Kelly I’ve long suspected flying originated in the sea simply because what better place to fall while you’re still developing your prototypical efforts to become airworthy.

    If you can already swim fast in water then you only need to panickingly point yourself straight at the surface as you flee predators to find yourself momentarily airborne whereas if you’re a land based creature getting and staying off the ground becomes more likely the higher your jumping off point though but so’s the degree to which you’ll go splat.

    In which case maybe the first creatures to colonise the land didn’t crawl out the sea but accidentally landed there after terrific salmon like leaps and because they’d already been learning to handle longer and longer periods out of water some of them were able to survive long enough to get back in the sea.

  4. Kelly Blodgett responds:

    Alan, that sure is an interesting way of looking at it. I like the way you think.

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