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article imageB-movies come to life with 'invasion' of giant carnivorous squid

By Stephanie Dearing     Jul 18, 2009 in Science
If you go out into the waters today, you're in for a big surprise. If you're a diver heading into the water around San Diego, California, that is, where swarms of "giant carnivorous squid" have been reported in the waters.
The hundreds of "monsters,"reportedly up to five feet long with "razor sharp beaks and toothy tentacles" have been reported not just seen in the shallow coastal waters near San Diego, but have been said to be "enveloping" the masks of divers, as well as "yanking at their cameras and gear." There is some disagreement over which species of squid is present in the bay, although most news reports are saying it is the Humbolt (also known as jumbo flying squid or the red devil). One unofficial source said that the species in the bay might actually be Robust Clubhook Squid Moroteuthis robusta. The squid came into the San Diego bay area this past week.
Authorities say that the waters are still safe for swimming and surfing, as the squid are found in the deeper waters of the bay. Most divers and swimmers, however, are saying that they would not risk going into the water, although some divers have been tempted by the 'experience of a lifetime,' and have plunged into the waters to swim with the squid.
The squid species is commonly called the red devil because of its colouring and aggressiveness. Normally found in waters off Mexico and up the California coast, they usually live at deeper depths than the San Diego bay area. There is speculation that an earthquake drove the squid out of their normal habitat, although the Smithsonian says that increasingly the species is found further and further north.
The Humboldt squid are caught by Mexican shrimpers in the off seasons. The Humboldt squid also eats shrimp, among other creatures, surfacing to eat at night. The species usually stays together in large groups, live for one year, and can weigh up to 100 pounds.
Hosting a population of over 1 million people, San Diego is located in Southern California and is known for its zoo, surfing opportunities, fishing and recreational opportunities, such as theme parks and whale watching.
More about San Diego, Squid, Carnivorous squid, California
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