The squid is a marine mollusc. Its body has a cone shape , covered by a kind of cap called a mantle. Two large triangular fins sprout from its cone shaped body.Ten tentacles branch out from the lower part of its body. Two of them are longer than the others, and have club-shaped bulges at their tips. There is a bony beak at the center of the tentacles. On average, the common squid is 15 cm long , but are able to reach 40cm in length. To move through the ocean, squids shrink and expand their mantle cavity to suck in and expel water. The squid moves forward thanks to the same principle that propells a jet engine. The squid is a predator that feeds on fish, crustaceans and other shellfish. It captures prey with its two longer tentacles and drags them to its beak. But the squid is also prey for other predators such as sharks and dolphins. To escape these attacks , the squid emits a blackish substance from a gland located under its mantle. This fluid confuses predators and allows the squid to make its escape. Squids live in large groups. These can be spotted during the day 20 meters below the ocean’s surface, while at night they rise to the surface. During the mating season, between summer and autumn , the male squid inserts one of his shorter tentacles under the mantle of the female, and deposits a globule of sperm. The female then lays a gelatinous mass that contains eggs. The cluster drops to the bottom of the sea, where it will remain until hatching. Northern European folklore tells of ships sunk by the Kraken , a mythical squid hundreds of meters long. Although clearly a myth , deep sea researchers have detected species of squid up to 18 meters long. More recent sightings, such as the famous 2006 discovery of a giant squid, have been limited to observing carcasses that have washed ashore.
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