It's a bird, it's a plane, no it's a... squid?

Monday, March 18, 2013 by Kim Little

Wait, what?!?

Believe it or not, researchers at Hokkaido University have discovered that squid can fly! The squid can travel up to 30 meters, or approximately 1/3 of a football field, at about 11 meters/second (25mph)! It is thought that they will fly as a defense mechanism when trying to escape predators.

But how exactly does a squid fly?

While under water the squid will suck water into its mantle. They will then contract the mantle quickly pushing the water out of the mantle and propelling them up and out of the water. Once out of the water they will spread their fins and arms, which have a thin membrane between them, like wings. 

Okay, but aren’t they really just jumping?

Scientists say the way the squid spread out their fins and arms creates aerodynamic lift, the same thing that allows planes to fly. Therefore the squid are truly flying.

Wow, that’s pretty cool!

Can you think of another marine organism that can fly?

 



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