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Rare Piglet Squid Is Spotted by Scientists on A Deep-Sea Expedition 4,500 Feet Below Sea Level

By Andrew Alpin, 12 December 2022

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Researchers on the E/V Nautilus navigated the remote explorer through the waters near Palmyra Atoll when it spotted a rare piglet squid in 2019. The remote explorer was submerged at a depth of around 4,500 feet when this rare deep-sea dweller came into sight. The piglet squid gets its name from its big mouth-like siphon that resembles a pig’s snout.

10 The E/V Nautilus team was exploring the Palmyra Atoll earlier this month when they spotted this curious piglet squid

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A group of researchers saw an adorable baby squid in its natural habitat, deep in the Pacific Ocean. The curious animal was caught on camera when the E/V Nautilus crew was exploring the Palmyra Atoll. At 4,500ft (1,385m), they came across the squid and stopped to enjoy the moment with the small marine animal.

The E/V Nautilus team was exploring the Palmyra Atoll earlier this month when they spotted this curious piglet squid

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9 The Nautilus team used an ROV (Remotely operated underwater vehicle) to get a quick close-up of the rare piglet squid

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The non-profit Ocean Exploration Trust’s Nautilus team used an ROV (remotely operated underwater vehicle) to get a quick look at the small piglet squid. The people who found the squid explained that squids, like other cephalopods, move by pulling and pushing the water around them with a structure called a siphon that works like a jet pump.

The Nautilus team used an ROV (Remotely operated underwater vehicle) to get a quick close-up of the rare piglet squid

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8 The encounter with the squid happened 1,000 miles south of Hawaii on the Palmyra atoll

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The chance meeting happened 1,000 miles south of Hawaii on the remote coral atoll. The researchers said the animals could control their buoyancy with an internal chamber filled with ammonia. This beautiful squid is often seen with its tentacles spread out above its head, making it seem like it has a wild hairstyle or, as one team member put it, “reindeer antlers.”

The encounter with the squid happened 1,000 miles south of Hawaii on the Palmyra atoll

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7 The piglet squid gets its name from its big siphon, which resembles a pig’s snout

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This cephalopod, Helicocranchia pfefferi, is also known as the piglet squid because its siphon looks like a pig’s snout. But what are piglet squids? A typical adult is about 4 inches tall (100 mm). The body is shaped like a big funnel with small fins that look like paddles. Above their eyes are small tentacles. It can be found in almost all oceans. The piglet squid has not been studied and understood much because of its tiny size and deep-water habitat.

The piglet squid gets its name from its big siphon, which resembles a pig’s snout

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