Apparently There is a New Squid Species

If you live anywhere near the Southern California coast, you are aware they are being invaded by the Humboldt squid. In Ventura County they are hauling in boat loads. Two things bug me about these posts.

1. Most of the articles refer to the Humboldt Squid as the Giant Squid, a common name reserved for Architeuthis species.  The common name for Dosidicus gigas, other than the Humboldt Squid, is the Jumbo Squid.  You can even call them the Red Devil.

2. Its this quote “‘They are gnarly; they’ve got more teeth than Jaws,’ said Jeff Grodin, owner of Oxnard’s Capt. Hook’s Sportfishing, where 200 were caught in a single day.” Beg your pardon?  Now it has been a while since I either took or taught invertebrate zoology and it has been probably a year since I held a squid in my hands.  But I was not aware Jumbo Squids had teeth at all and definitely not more than a great white.  Either I need to pay better attention or Jeff Grodin needs to actually look at one of the 200 squid they caught. 

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

6 Replies to “Apparently There is a New Squid Species”

  1. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, perchance he is referring to the chitinous teeth on the sucker rings?

  2. You may want to help contribute to the Wikipedia entry on Humbolt Squid, which not only refer to the “teeth” on the suckers, but also provide associated links at the bottom for Giant Squid.

  3. As accuracy goes, the article I saw called them jumbo, in lowercase, so it’s a descriptive word, not part of the name.

    Also, you might want to check the spelling in your title. Apparently, not apparenlty.

  4. Jason is correct that the Humboldt squid’s suckers are armed with hooked horny rings. Which in retrospect may be what the fisherman is discussing. However, to call them teeth is bit of semantic blunder equivalent to referring toenails as teeth.

  5. Just because this excited business owner used a little sarcasim does not mean he was trying to state a scientific fact. This is a huge thing for him and his company and I’m sure he was totally pumped talking about it. Squid do have teeth-lots of them. More than Jaws? I’ve never counted…I do know Jeff Grodin has practically lived out his entire life on the ocean. We shouldn’t doubt his knowledge. Go on a trip with his company…they know their stuff.

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