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The Size of a Pea


This little guy — right around the size of a pea — is just another of our truly fascinating residents!

Last month, ten Hummingbird Bobtail Squid, Euprymna berryi, arrived at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum from Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, along with a clutch of viable eggs.  While the adult Bobtail Squid went directly on exhibit, the clutch of eggs stayed in quarantine and, sixteen days after their arrival, they began to hatch.

Now, eight weeks later, the young squid are about the size of a pea.  These tiny, compact cephalopods have eight arms, two tentacles, and large eyes.  A mature bobtail grows to around 1.5 inches, and they have massive brains for their size.  They also appear translucent, letting them hide from predators with their own “invisibility cloak.”

“The Hummingbird Bobtail Squid are actively hunting on their own and displaying normal coloration and behaviors,” explains Carly Hulse, National Shell Museum Senior Aquarist. “We are very pleased with their progress, but they will have to get a little bigger before we can display them on exhibit.”

In recent years, Bobtail Squid have become important subjects in biological research.  In fact, when NASA launched a SpaceX resupply mission to the International Space Station in June, they had 128 newly hatched Bobtail Squid on board!

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