Deep Sea Squid Detaches Tentacles to Attack

You've probably heard that lizards can lose their tail to escape from predators. Turns out, losing one's appendage is also a tactic employed by the deep sea squid Octopoteuthis deletron. Except that it's not just for a defensive measure:

The obvious interpretation is that the squid jettisons its body parts to confuse and distract a predator. But it can also use this ability offensively. When [scientists Stephanie Bush] threatened the animals with a bottle brush, several of them attacked it. Five of them broke off their arms while they were grabbing the brush. The arms flashed away while continuing to hold their grip, while the squids jetted off. It’s called “attack autotomy”. I imagine it would be quite off-putting if you were a fish or a bottle brush.

Read more and watch the video clip over at Ed Yong's Not Exactly Rocket Science blog: Link 

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