MEPS - Vol. 324 - Feature article

Jumbo squid fitted with electronic tags in the Gulf of California are individually checked before they are released to return to their hypoxic, mesopelagic environment. Photo: Bob Cranston (courtesy of National Geographic Television)

Gilly WF, Markaida U, Baxter CH, Block BA, Boustany A, Zeidberg L, Reisenbichler K, Robison B, Bazzino G, Salinas C

 

Vertical and horizontal migrations by the jumbo squid Dosidicus gigas revealed by electronic tagging

 

Oceanic squids like Dosidicus gigas (jumbo or Humboldt squid) are ecologically and economically important on a global scale. They provide a critical link between lower trophic levels and apex vertebrate predators such as sperm whales, and they are the target of the world’s largest cephalopod fisheries. The first electronic archival tagging studies of D. gigas reveal that this active and muscular squid regularly penetrates cold, hypoxic midwater depths in the Gulf of California, where it remains remarkably active, presumably foraging. Although D. gigas has very high aerobic resting metabolic rate, it can both suppress aerobic metabolism and remain active under hypoxic conditions in its mesopelagic environment, an region that is hostile to pelagic predatory fishes.

 

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