Dive Log inc Sportdiving

b) produce acid to promptly remove said coat of sand - which also happens to be dumpling shaped and quite disorientating to threats (and photographers)! Symbiosis … with some very cool bacteria! They have a special light organ in which they store bioluminescent bacteria. This light organ allows them to conceal their silhouette from below, where predators like sand flathead lay in wait. They are colourblind! Despite this, they have the ability to change colours with special skin cells called chromatophores, another thing that has to be seen first hand … from teal to iridescent green to dark purple! They have the smarts ! Very large brains relative to their body size. Burying champions! Their ability to bury themselves allows them safety from threats and a place to rest during daylight hours. Reproduction & Life Dumpling squid reproduction is an annual cycle and here’s why: Their lifespan is about 7 months, their eggs take about 5 months to hatch- quite a long gestation period by comparison. So every 12 months we witness an increase in mating behaviour. Dumpling squid mate towards the end of their lifespan. With several partners, for as long as 3 hours. Such exhausting fornication means males die soon after mating. Females lay their pale orange eggs in large clusters and die a few days later. Keep your eye out for a Southern Dumpling Squid on your next night dive in Southern Australian waters, or for own your local dumpling squid species where ever you may be. Special thanks to Museums Victoria and Dr. Julian Finn for their research and information on this species.

Covered in a coat of sand this dumpling squid blends perfectly with the sandy sea floor.

Above: Almost fully buried, the eyes of this dumpling squid peer out from the sandy ocean floor. Below: This dumpling squid is doing its best to camouflage against an eleven armed starfish.

Below: Showing off the pale teal colours they can use for camouflage.

www.divelog.net.au | ISSUE 375 | OCTOBER 2019 | DIVE LOG Australasia inc. Sportdiving Magazine | 31

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