Fearsome spiked tentacles of a deep-sea squid

You never know what may be sitting on a table in the Scripps Collections. Last time, I wandered by the Benthic Invertebrates Collection, there was a giant scaleworm the size of a loaf of bread. This week, as I went about my work in the Pelagic Invertebrates Collection, there was a squid with GIANT SPIKES.

Meet Galiteuthis armata, the armed cranch squid.

The deep sea squid Galiteuthis armata
The deep sea squid Galiteuthis armata. Photo Miriam Goldstein.

That’s a liter-sized jar for scale, so Galiteuthis isn’t terribly huge. But take a closer look at the fearsome spikes on its tentacles.

Tantacular club of Galiteuthis armata
Don’t club me, baby. Photo Miriam Goldstein


This is called a “tentacular club.” Check out those hooks!

Galiteuthis armata tentacular club.
Galiteuthis armata tentacular club. Photograph by R. Young via tolweb.org.


I couldn’t find any literature on how Galiteuthis uses those spikes. Presumably they are for catching and holding the squid’s unfortunate prey, such as zooplankton and small fishes. Personally, if I encounter Galiteuthis, I’ll endeavor to not piss it off. Cause DAMN, those are big, pointy tentacle-spikes!

4 Replies to “Fearsome spiked tentacles of a deep-sea squid”

  1. No wonder how the ancients came out with that Kraken monster legend.

    Those spikes and suckers armed with teeth would have been a certain SFx hit in Pirates of the Caribeans!!! See how Hollywood could get real good at scaring out people with their monsters? By trying first the models tested and tried by evolution! ;)

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