Scientists Confirm That Neon Flying Squid Can Fly, Announce Speed

Neon Flying Squid

In a study published this week in German science magazine Marine Biology, a team of marine biologists at Hokkaido University announced they have discovered that the neon flying squid (Ommastrephes bartramii) can fly through the air at up to 11.2 meters per second. They propel themselves by squirting water out at high pressure and can fly for a distance of about 30 meters (nearly 100 feet).

The squid are in the air for about three seconds and travel upwards of 30 metres, said (Jun) Yamamoto, in what he believed was a defence strategy to escape being eaten.

But, he added, being out of the ocean opened a new front, leaving the cephalopods vulnerable to other predators.

“This finding means that we should no longer consider squid as things that live only in the water. It is highly possible that they are also a source of food for sea birds.”

Neon flying squid

photo by Kouta Muramatsu, July 2011

image via AFP

Rusty Blazenhoff
Rusty Blazenhoff