Translucent Cockatoo Squid Flutters By - 2017 (Remastered!)

In honor of 15 years of ocean exploration, we’re revisiting some of our favorite moments of the past. This cockatoo squid (Taonius borealis) comes from our 2017 expedition to the Quinault Canyon & Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Also known as a glass squid, this unique-looking cephalopod floats due to its ammonia-filled body.

 Commonly found in the North Pacific Ocean, these invertebrates can reach a max length of 50cm (20in). Its transparent body clearly reveals a cigar-shaped digestive gland, though color-changing chromatophores flash reddish hues to help the squid blend in. Carrying tentacles above its head, the squid generally looks straight ahead but can also direct its eyes laterally, giving its cockatoo-like appearance an extra googly-eyed flair. 

Learn more about the expedition here.