A new species of squid has been discovered by scientists during a research cruise in the southern Indian ocean.
The 70cm-long specimen is a large member of the chiroteuthid family.
Squid from this group are long and slender with light-producing organs, which act as lures to attract prey.
It was found during analysis of 7,000 samples gathered during last year’s Seamounts cruise led by the conservation group IUCN.
The project started a year ago when marine experts embarked on a six-week research expedition in the Indian Ocean.
The aim of the cruise was to unveil the mysteries of seamounts – underwater mountains – in the southern Indian Ocean and to help improve conservation and management of marine resources in the area.
“For 10 days now 21 scientists armed with microscopes have been working through intimidating rows of jars containing fishes, squids, zooplankton and other interesting creatures,” says Alex Rogers, of the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford,
“Many specimens look similar to each other and we have to use elaborate morphological features such as muscle orientation and gut length to differentiate between them.”
So far, more than 70 species of squid have been identified from the Seamounts cruise, representing more than 20% of the global squid biodiversity.