12, 2006: Humboldt Squid invade Los
Cabos...an awesome phenomenon! Ever
catch a squid that weighs 80 lbs.? Every
year the other worldy creatures come
to the waters of los Cabos and provide
memorable experiences for anglers and
Squid (Dosidicus gigas), also known
as the Jumbo Squid or Jumbo Flying Squid,
is a large, aggressive predatory squid
found in the waters of the Humboldt
Current in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
They are most commonly found at depths
of 200-700 metres (600 to 2300 feet),
from Tierra del Fuego to California.
There is some evidence that they are
spreading north into the waters of Oregon,
Washington, British Columbia and Alaska.
Humboldt Squid are social animals,
hunting in schools of up to 1200 individuals.
They swim at speeds of up to 15 miles
per hour (24 km/h, 13 knots) propelled
by water ejected through a hyponome
(siphon) and by two diamond shaped fins.
Their tentacles bear barbed suckers
with which they grasp prey and drag
it towards a mouth containing a large,
Squid have a lifespan of only about
one year, though they may grow to 2
m (6 ft)and weigh 45 kg (100 pounds),
growing at an astounding rate. They
can rapidly change their skin colour
from deep purplish red to white using
chromatophores, specialized skin cells,
in what appears to be a complex communication
system. Their colouring and aggressive
reputation has earned them the nickname
diablos rojos (red devils) from fishermen
off the coast of Mexico, as they flash
red and white when struggling with the
fishermen. The squid are fished at night,
when they rise to the surface to feed.
Hand-lines with luminous jigs are used
to attract and catch the squid, which
are sold as a delicacy in the Far East.
There are numerous accounts of the
squid attacking fishermen and divers
in the area and cannibalistic behaviour
is regularly seen, but only when they
are being fished. There is growing evidence
that such behavior is an anomalous and
possibly even a result of the intense
stress of being fished and killed in
large numbers. When observed away from
the squid-fishing boats, they appear
gentle and curious. It appears they
hunt for prey, small fish and krill,
in a cooperative fashion, which if actually
the case, would be the first such observed