Banded Piglet Squid Facts
- Firstly, the truly astonishing Banded Piglet Squid bears the rather imposing scientific name of Helicocranchia pfefferi. Researchers currently know extremely little about this animal. This principally holds true due to the extreme nature of its natural habitat. Therefore, the IUCN presently lists this fascinating animal as Data Deficient.
- In addition, the humorous sounding common name for this animal actually has an understandable origin. That’s because it derives from the comparatively rotund shape of the body. To a great many researchers, this physical shape appears reminiscent of a small pig.
- Yet another fascinating one of the very few facts known about the adorable creature sets it apart, however. That’s because this remarkable species appears to primarily swim through the ocean in an upside down position. The reason for this remains a mystery.
- Also, one unique fact researchers have discovered is that this rather incredible small cephalopod actually changes color to purple when giving birth. For the moment, at least, the reason for this change also continues to completely baffle researchers.
Banded Piglet Squid Physical Description
Regardless of its great visual appeal to many, the Banded Piglet Squid remains quite diminutive in terms of physical size. Further, in fact, the amazing animal represents one of the smallest of all known related species.
Perhaps most notably, in fact, the average adult only achieves a mantle length of roughly 3.9 in (9.9 cm). Within the rather limited knowledge of the species achieved by researchers, sexual dimorphism appears to be absent.
In addition, throughout the majority of its life, this animal displays an almost transparent appearance. Later in life, however, the great majority of adults often become reddish brown. The reasons for this remain undetermined.
Further, its diminutive body also displays numerous paddle-like fins. The purpose for these features also remains undetermined at the present. In addition, several short tentacles grow from the area immediately above its jet-black eyes.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Mollusca
- Class: Cephalopoda
- Order: Oegopsida
- Family: Cranchiidae
- Genus: Helicocranchia
- Species: H. pfefferi
Banded Piglet Squid Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Given the great lack of available data, the distribution of the Banded Piglet Squid currently remains in question. But, some evidence indicates that it may have a nearly global distribution, at least in tropical and subtropical waters.
However, the majority of its limited sightings occur in the North Atlantic. More specifically, these happen near the country of Ireland, in Europe. Furthermore, where it has been confirmed to exist, it appears to be a mesopelagic species.
Younger individuals also primarily inhabit shallow regions of the oceans, remaining at depths of no more than 656 ft (200 m). However, as individuals mature, they migrate to much greater depths, sometimes as deep as 6,560 ft (2,000 m).
The exact population of the species remains unclear, but its population also appears to be quite fragmented. Researches currently have no data on the diet or feeding habits of this unique creature. However, it remains assumed that it feeds on small fish and invertebrates.