Family can be hard. But when you’re a giant squid, it’s probably less so. You don’t have to worry if your parents like your wife. You don’t have to worry about who sits where at family dinners or who gets the country house when the squid patriarch dies. So probably the recent study informing us that giant squid populations all over the world are probably related is not such a huge deal to the squid themselves. But to humans, well, it’s rather interesting.
They (human scientists, not squid) studied mitochondrial genomes from 43 squid all around the world, and they discovered that their genetic patterns were way way more similar than those of other animals living so far apart. So similar that evidence suggests that a squid swimming in the waters off of Florida could, literally, have a brother or sister or at least a first cousin floating around in the deeps off Madagascar. This is particularly neat since adult squid really seem to stick to one place. But in their larval stage, scientists think they are dispersed by currents to the far corners of the ocean. And then, just like many humans, they just stick on one place and get stuck in their ways. At least they don’t have to go home for Thanksgiving.
- World's giant squid are one big happy family, New Scientist
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