A Squid Takes Down A Much Bigger Fish By Severing Its Spinal Cord

Squid And OwlfishMonterey Bay Aquarium Research InstituteA squid captures and eventually strangles an owlfish in this screengrab from a video captured by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

A deep-sea squid fights to eat an owlfish double its size in this video taken in Monterey Bay along the central coast of California.

The battle was recorded last November by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) using a remotely operated vehicle.

Researchers followed the squid and owlfish for about an hour, during which the two foes dropped about 500 feet from where they were first discovered at a depth of 1,475 feet, according to Becky Oskin at LiveScience.

“We see a lot of feeding events and often times the squid gets startled and lets go,” MBARI senior research technician Susan von Thun told Oskin, “but this guy held on for the whole time that we watched it.”

Although the owlfish has its own defence mechanisms — it can shed its scales or flick its tail to break free from the squid’s grip — the squid uses its sharp beak inside its mouth to sever the fish’s spinal cord, according to the video.

Von Thun thinks the rapid sinking may also be part of the squid’s feeding strategy.

“It is likely that [the squid] would eat the entire fish, but may take hours or even days to do so,” according to MBARI.

Watch the epic struggle below, followed by more creepy videos from MBARI:

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