Why This Squid Eats Poop To Live Longer. No Joke.

By: Joseph Simonds on June 25, 2015
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vampire squid poop

You may or may not know this, but the average life expectancy of a squid (and their close relative the octopus) is only around 1-3 years. There are a few exceptions to the rule such as the Giant Octopus that can live a bit longer than 3 years, but that is rare.

Because of this short lifespan, it is a main reason that the female squid in particular lays so many eggs. In fact, the female squid can release enormous amounts of eggs (up to 11 pounds) to ensure the continuation of their species. Pretty crazy!

In other words, most squid live about a year, reproduce a ton of eggs once (and only once), and then die pretty much immediately afterwards (you would too if you gave birth to 11 pounds of eggs when you only a fraction of the size of a human).

But scientist recently discovered a bizarre type of pseudo-squid that can not only can reproduce DOZENS of times, but it can also live up to 8 YEARS!

Meet The Vampire Squid

vampire squid poop

This mysterious and rarely seen Vampire Squid is neither a real Vampire or a Real Squid. Just an evolutionary and bizarre deep sea creature that eats poop. Image Source: http://www.mbari.org/

This is a picture of the “Vampire Squid”, the longest living “squid” out there.

Can you guess what this Vampire Squid’s secret to good health is?

If you guessed exercise and a steady diet of fruits and vegetables you would be WRONG, because it’s actually POOP.

Yep, good old-fashioned Poop.

That, and a slow metabolism of course.

vampire squid poop

These somewhat small sea creatures (about the size of a shoe-box) have intrigued scientists and marine biologists ever since “Vampire Squid” were first discovered back in 1903.

Ironically, they weren’t as intrigued with their vampire-like habits (they live many hundreds of feet below the surface in the deep dark depths of the ocean with very little light and very little oxygen), but more because of their puzzling relation to with squids and octopuses.

And of course, the scientists also became a little curious about their odd diet of eating waste after that was discovered in 2012.

How Vampire Squid Collect Poo

These odd Vampire Squid have eight webbed arms like an octopus, and they have two strange thread-like filaments with a very odd purpose: to collect waste (aka poop) for the vampire squid to eat.

vampire squid eats poop

Another cool pic of the elusive Vampire Squid. Image Source: http://www.mbari.org/

So the next time you want to impress your friends with some little-known (and a bit humorous) marine biology trivia, ask them if they know about the squid that eats poop to stay healthy and live longer.

Or better yet, share this article with them today.

Want to Read More on Vampire Squids and How Scientists Discovered They eat Poop?

Check out the full article on “Current Biology” here.


P.S. – If you found this Vampire Squid article interesting (or perhaps learned something new), then please share with a friend. You rock!

P.P.S. – Kids, do NOT try this at home. Eating waste will not make you live longer.


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