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Posted by on Feb 17, 2016 in Tell Me Why |

How Does a Squid Use Its Ink to Escape Enemies?

How Does a Squid Use Its Ink to Escape Enemies?

Squid (and also octopus) belong to a group of animals called “Cephalopods” and these animals all shoot out ink, they jet it out with some water in the siphon, a part of their bodies that helps them breathe, move, and feed themselves.

Like the octopus, the squid is famous for its ability to spurt an inky liquid into the water to escape enemies. The “ink” is a thick, dark brown liquid produced by a gland in the squid’s body and stored in a special reservoir known as an “ink sac.”

The ink is dispersed more widely by accompanying its release with a jet of water from the siphon. Its dark color is caused by its main constituent, melanin. Each species of cephalopod produces slightly differently colored inks; generally, octopuses produce black ink, squid ink is blue-black, and cuttlefish ink is a shade of brown.

When an enemy approaches, the squid squirts out a dark, squid size blob of ink. The squid instantly changes its color and retreats behind the inky fake. The would-be-attacker is usually deceived by this inky escape trick, and is also left searching for an animal whose coloring is quite different from the squid’s.

Content for this question contributed by Seth Lamade, resident of Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA