Giant Squid Eyes Are Huge In Order To Spot Sperm Whales [Study]
Giant squid are extremely hard to observe in their natural habitat however researchers who have caught the giant creatures have quickly observed one major fact, their eyes are huge. In many cases a giant squids eyes can be the size of soccer balls, growing to 10 inches across.
Based on those size measurements the sea creatures have the largest eyes on the planet and a new study suggests that they use those giant eyes to quickly seek out sperm whales as they approach.
According to Dan-Eric Nilsson and Eric Warrant from Lund University, Sweden, the squids eyes evolved for one purpose, spotting sperm whales. While we might assume that a bigger eye can see more light and therefore see further in general, Nilsson and Warrant suggest that isn’t the case.
According to Discover Magazine:
Using a mathematical model, they found that in the deep ocean, eyes suffer from a law of diminishing returns. Small eyes can see dramatically further if they grow a bit bigger. But once the pupil passes 2.5 centimetres, these improvements become tinier and tinier. Once the pupil reaches 3.5 centimetres, and the eye itself reaches 9 centimetres, there’s very little point in making it any bigger. And that’s exactly where fish have stopped. Even though the swordfish’s head is capable of holding a much larger eye, it doesn’t.
What the team found was that larger eyes are better at spotting other large objects that give off light when water depth surpasses 500 meters. The animal most likely to give off that light is the sperm whale.
While its true that the sperm whale doesn’t give off its own light researchers believe that it disturbs enough animals around it that do which in turn warns the giant squid of an incoming threat.
According to Nilsson and Warrant the giant squid can pick up light form 120 meters away.
Because of a sperm whales sonor which can spot food sources up to several hundred meters away the giant squid is still at a disadvantage. What the large eyes do allow is for a giant squid to run away with its quick short distance bursts of speed.
Sperm Whales are the only true predator to the giant squid and the even larger colossal squid.
At this time the researchers admit that their theory would need to be observed to be proven but their overall research is solid.
Do you think the researchers hypothesis seems valid?