Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Predator Squid Feasting On Fish-Sharks

Filmmaker and show host Scott Cassel with the Undersea Voyager Project has long hypothesized that the wholesale collapse of the shark populations in both Mexico and along the west coast of the USA has lead to a veritable oceanic plague of giant squids.

His theory is bearing fruit, as untold numbers of these super predators are being found as far north as Oregon in population densities never before seen. As Scott recently told us "these animals breed at a rate of millions, if you take their primary predator out of the loop, they will explode on to the scene and dominate the niche the sharks vanished from".

Scott has a way of being right about his observations on the ocean:

BODEGA BAY, Calif. (CBS) In Mexico, they are called the "red devil" and "the beast" in Central America. They are jumbo squid: deadly, fast moving creatures with tentacles that can suck the life out of a human being.

The squid are devouring parts of large populations of native fish in Northern California.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute has been tracking the population explosion of the squid. In just a few years, they have gone from occasional visitor to numbering possibly in the hundreds of thousands.

"It's a stout, very muscular animal, very high speed, excellent vision," said Karl Menard of the Bodega Bay Research Laboratory. "They are called the jumbo flying squid for a reason. They can actually leap out of the water and project themselves into the air into schools of nearby fish.

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