Saturday, February 18, 2017

ZooWeird 78

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Striped pajama squid. Although technically a cuttlefish and not a squid, it does look as if it’s wearing striped pajamas. The species occurs exclusively in the southern Indo-Pacific and can be found in eastern, southern and western Australia. Individuals usually hide on the sea floor, inside sand or mud, and amongst seagrass in waters of up to 20 meters (~60 feet) deep. It has a small and rounded body, with an average mantle length of 5 cm (~2.0 in), with the biggest ever recorded specimen being 7 cm (~2.5 in.) long. The body is covered by thin dark brown longitudinal stripes and has a creamish background while some individuals present with a mottled purple-brown color pattern. S. lineolata possess a pair of kidney-shaped fins on the mantle. The body has no shell. Leaving their pajama-like coloration aside, their body resembles a dumpling. This is why the species is also known as the Striped Dumpling Squid. These little critters spend most of the day buried in the sand or mud, with only their eyes protruding. This allows them to hide from predators and to catch unsuspecting prey as well. They become more active during the night, leaving the bottom —swimming in short hops—to go for hunting. During the mating period, the male grabs any passing female. (All animal info from

These truly are some creatures strange—
They hide in sand to wait for prey;
They never really ever range,
Stay close to “home” from day to day.

Their looks, of course, distinguish them—
Mom Nature (what a risk she took!),
Said: “They can’t fly, and they can’t swim—
So how about a convict look!?”

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