Discovered in the deep: the squid that makes a decoy out of its own skin

Self-camouflage is just one of the tricks of Brenner’s bobtail squid, a newly found species that is also helping research into microbes in the human gut

Bobtail squid are the second smallest group of squid in the world, at between 1cm and 5cm from neck to rounded, stumpy butt, and they only come out at night.

In 2019, scientists named a new species, Brenner’s bobtail squid (Euprymna brenneri), after finding them while night-diving off the Japanese island of Okinawa. “When you shine a light on them, they freeze,” says Oleg Simakov from the University of Vienna, one member of the squid-finding team. This makes them easy to catch in a hand net.

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