Link #108: The Largest Squid on Earth Only Eats 30 Grams of Food per Day!



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Link #108: The Largest Squid on Earth Only Eats 30 Grams of Food per Day!

Colossal Squid, American Museum of Natural History
New York, NY. Image credit: AmandaB3, (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

In our last post, we explained how the myth of raccoons washing their hands and food before every meal came about. We even told you the real reason behind this habit of the raccoons. However, it’s not just the manner of eating in which animals differ.

There are differences in terms of quantity too. For example, did you know that the largest squid on Earth, the colossal squid, eats only 30 grams of food every day? Or, for that matter, did you know that this squid’s food goes through its brain? Do you want to know more about this strange, strange creature? Read on!

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How Large Is the Colossal Squid and How Much Does It Eat?

London Bus v Truck: Colossal squid comparison war by Graham C99, (CC BY 2.0)

The colossal squid is gigantic. In fact, it can grow to as much as 46 feet in length, with the smallest specimen being a massive 39 feet long. It’s not just length that it excels in, but also weight. A colossal squid can weigh anything between 450 to 700 kg!

Any animal this huge has to eat a lot, right? The colossal squid defies these expectations, though. How much does it really eat? It only eats a paltry 30 grams of food every day! That number is outrageous because if you eat only 30 grams of food in a day, you’d soon be unable to function due to starvation.

Why Does the Colossal Squid Eat So Little?

The amount of food a colossal squid eats per day vis-à-vis its size and weight seems disproportionate. However, it is true, and there are solid reasons behind it. The first reason is that the colossal squid tends to reside in the deepest parts of the ocean.

This means that the colossal squid’s habitat is extremely cold because it doesn’t get enough sunlight. Animals that live in colder regions are known to have lower metabolic rates. The fact that the colossal squid only eats 30 grams of food per day means that its metabolic rate is colossally slow.

Another element connected to the colossal squid’s eating habits, size, and metabolic rate is its daily routine. The colossal squid doesn’t do much through the day except lounge around, chilling! In other words, it actually remains still for most of the day and only acts when food is nearby.

Does the Colossal Squid’s Food Pass Through Its Brain?

The colossal squid is truly one of the stranger animals on Earth. Not only does it eat unbelievably less, but its food actually goes through its brain. How does this happen? Well, it happens because the colossal squid’s brain is doughnut shaped and its food pipe goes through the hole in the middle!

The central hole in the colossal squid’s brain is only about 10 mm wide. In fact, the whole brain only weighs about 100 grams. Because its food has to pass through such a small hole, a colossal squid has to make sure that it tears up its food into extremely small pieces.

What does all of this mean? You can rest assured that the colossal squid isn’t a thinker, eats like a baby and is always trying to lose weight!

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