What Is the Classification for Squids, Animals

What Is the Classification for Squids?

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Like all living creatures, squid are classified using a system developed by Carlus Linnaeus in the 1700s. This method organizes species based on their relationships to one another into a series of broadening categories. From most broad to most specific, these categories are kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species. By examining the squid’s placement in this system, we can better understand its relationship to similar species.

Phylum Mollusca: Soft and Plentiful

All squid species belong to the broad Animalia Kingdom. As the name implies, all animals belong to this kingdom. Members of this kingdom are multicellular and use other living things to supply their nourishment. Within that kingdom, squid belong to the narrower Mollusca phylum. Their phylum includes between 50,000 and 200,000 species, according to the University of California Museum of Paleontology. These soft-bodied creatures include slugs, scallops and clams. Most mollusks are distinguished from other animals by their distinctive head and foot regions.

Class Cephalopoda: The Intelligent Mollusks

Squid belong to a class of animals known as Cephalopoda (cephalopods). This class includes the largest and most intelligent mollusks, including octopi, cuttlefish and the nautilus. The University of California Museum of Paleontology says 800 species of cephalopods have been identified. These species are distinct because of their ability to learn and to solve problems, as well as their tentacles and other adaptations to their ocean environment. Within this class, squid belong to a subdivision known as Coleoidea. Most living cephalopods also belong to this subdivision but the separation allows for differences between these organisms and similar but distinct extinct cephalopods.

Order Teuthida: Speedy Squid

When some animals are more closely related to one another than others in a specific classification category, they also may be differentiated by a super- or subgroup. Squid and cuttlefish, for example, belong to a super-order known as Decapodiformes. Octopi belong to a different super-order because of differences in their gills. The order Teuthida, however, only includes squid. They are differentiated from other cephalopods not by their use of jet propulsion for movement but because of their efficiency in this area. Not only is their body designed for faster swimming but it also can adjust the amount of water expelled at a given time to increase speeds when faster swimming is required.

Family, Genus and Species

Classifying squid becomes more difficult as the Teuthida order breaks down into more than two dozen families. At this point, each type of squid is being differentiated from every other type of squid. For example, the giant squid belongs to the family Architeuthidae while the long-finned squid belongs to the Loliginidae family. According to Sea World, more than 250 species of squids have been identified within these families.


Interesting facts about squids

Squids are marine cephalopods with eight arms and two long tentacles, typically able to change color.

The squid is one of the most highly developed invertebrates, well adapted to its active, predatory life.

There are more than 300 known species of squid out there that have been identified.

Squid are known to inhabit almost every major body of saltwater on the planet and even some bodies of freshwater. Many squid are adept at surviving in cold, oxygen-deprived waters deep below the surface.

The largest quantity of squid species are found throughout the North Atlantic Ocean. The North Pacific is also home to a variety of squid types.

Most of squid species will be found at least 300 meters (1,000 feet) below the surface. The water is cooler there and they can be alone.

The lifespan is 6 months for the smaller squid and up to 5 years for the larger ones.

The smallest squid is the pygmy squid which can be less than 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) long while the largest is the colossal squid which can be up to 14 meters (46 feet) in length and weighing possibly up to 750 kg (1,650 lb).

Squid have gills just like fish.

Squid have three hearts. Two branchial hearts feed the gills, each surrounding the larger systemic heart that pumps blood around the body.

Squid blood is blue, not red as in humans. This is because squid blood contains a copper-containing compound called haemocyanin. In humans the blood is red and contains the iron compound haemoglobin.

The skin is covered in chromatophores, which enable the squid to change color to suit its surroundings, making it practically invisible. The underside is also almost always lighter than the topside, to provide camouflage from both prey and predator.

The main body mass is enclosed in the mantle, which has a swimming fin along each side.

They move through the water tail first instead of head first.

A squid moves using a system of jet propulsion, pulling water into its mantle cavity, contracting the muscles of the mantle wall and expelling the water through its siphon or funnel. Its fins aid maneuverability and also help with lift and motion while the squid travels at slow speeds.

Squid are strong swimmers and certain species can “fly” for short distances out of the water.

Squid are able to reach 40 km/h (25 mph), making them the speediest marine invertebrates.

All squid have a sac of ink inside the mantle. The ink is a dark liquid and is expelled through the funnel. If the squid meets a predator, it shoots out a cloud of ink, which hides the squid so it can escape.

Squid and octopus have an intricate nervous system, more complex than other molluscs, and invertebrates in general.

Some species of squid are able to glow in the dark. Research shows this is due to them having bioluminescent organs.

The eyes, on either side of the head, each contain a hard lens. The image is focused by changing the position of the lens, as in a camera or telescope, rather than changing the shape of the lens, as in the human eye.

Squid can hear, scientists have confirmed. But they don’t detect the changes in pressure associated with sound waves, like we do. They have another, more primitive, technique for listening: They sense the motion generated by sound waves.

They have small teeth on the sides of their tongue. But their primary weapon is their beak which is similar to a parrot’s. They use it to catch its prey and tear it into manageable pieces.

All squid are carnivores and eat mainly fish, shrimp, crabs and even other squid. They are ambush predators, often relying on stealth to sneak up on prey and capture it before it can escape.

Some squid species live in schools like fish and some are solitary.

When it is time for the mating to occur large groups of males and females come together at dawn and start swimming rapidly in large circles. After a while you can see two squids swimming together. These will be the ones starting the mating.

After a male and female mate, the female squid lays eggs. Thousands of eggs can be produced at a time by one female. She will distribute them in hidden areas of the water including under rocks or in various holes and crevices she can find. It can be up to eight weeks before those eggs hatch so keeping them save from predators can be difficult. The female squid don’t wait around for them to hatch, they leave after depositing them.

The squid’s natural predators include birds, fish, sharks and whales.

Some species of squid have been found to live more than 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) deep in the water.

The giant squid have eyeballs that are the same size as a standard basketball.

Squid ink contains dopamine, a neurotransmitter that in human brains, produces the sensation of euphoria. It is not known what role it plays in squid and why it is in the ink.

The “fire shooter squid” formally known as Heteroteuthis Dispar, is squid that shoots out a cloud of light from bioluminescent photophores, to distract predators.

Neuroscientists in training learn the basics of neurosurgery by practicing on Loligo pealei squid. Their thick axon, thicker than any human nerves, is easier to start with.

Giant squid are featured in literature and folklore with a frightening connotation. The Kraken is a legendary tentacled monster possibly based on sightings of real giant squid.

Many species are popular as food in cuisines as diverse as American, Basque, Canadian, Chinese, English, Filipino, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Tunisian, Turkish and Vietnamese.

Calamari is a culinary name for squid, especially for dishes from the Mediterranean, notably fried squid (fried calamari). There are many ways of preparing and cooking squid, with every country and region having its own recipes.


Butterfly Fish

Butterfly Fish Facts

Atlantic, Indian, Pacific Oceans Diet: Black, White, Yellow, Orange, Silver Skin Type: Tropical coral reefs Average Clutch Size: Plankton, Coral, Crustaceans Predators: Elongated nose and bright colours

Butterfly Fish Location

Butterfly Fish

The butterfly fish is a generally small-sized species of marine fish, found in tropical and subtropical waters, primarily around coral reefs. The butterfly fish is well known for its brightly coloured body and elaborate markings.

There are more than 100 different species of butterfly fish found distributed throughout the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans, meaning that the butterfly fish is a salt-water species of (marine) fish.

The average butterfly fish is fairly small and generally grows to around 4 or 5 inches in length. Some species of the butterfly fish however, are known to grow to 8 inches (20 cm) long and some butterfly fish individuals have been known to grow to 30 cm in length.

The butterfly fish can live for up to 10 years in a well kept aquarium but will only reach about 7 years old in the wild. The butterfly fish is a difficult fish to keep as they need very specific water conditions that need regular and close monitoring and so the butterfly fish is only found in specific water conditions in the wild.

The butterfly fish is most closely related to the marine angelfish which is similar in colour but the marine angelfish is often much larger in size than the butterfly fish. Butterfly fish can be distinguished from angelfish by the dark spots on their bodies, dark bands around their eyes and the fact that the mouth of the butterfly fish is more pointed than the mouth of the angelfish.

Butterfly fish are diurnal animals which means that they are feeding during the day and resting in the coral during the night. Most species of butterfly fish feed on the plankton in the water, coral and sea anemones and occasionally snack on small crustaceans. Those butterfly fish that primarily feed on the plankton in the water are generally the smaller species of butterfly fish and can be seen in large groups. The larger species of butterfly fish are fairly solitary or stay with their mating partner.

Butterfly fish are preyed upon by a number of large predators including fish such as snappers, eels and sharks. Due to the fact that the butterfly fish is small in size, it is able to tuck itself into crevices in the coral in order to escape danger and prevent itself from being eaten.

Butterfly fish form mating pairs that they remain with for life. Butterfly fish release their eggs into the water which form part of the plankton (it is because of this that many butterfly fish eggs are accidentally eaten by animals that live on plankton). When the eggs hatch, the baby butterfly fish (known as fry) develop armoured plates on their bodies to protect them when they are so vulnerable. As the butterfly fish gets, older these plates disappear. Butterfly fish have an average lifespan of 8 to 10 years although some of the larger butterfly fish species are known to get to much older.

Today, the butterfly fish is considered to be an endangered animal mainly as butterfly fish populations have been threatened due to water pollution and habitat loss. The destruction of coral reefs occurs mainly from boats, and without their coral habitat, the butterfly fish find it difficult to survive as they have less food and are also more exposed to predators.


Big Butterfly Count: Which common UK species to look for

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The UK public has been asked to take part in the world’s largest butterfly count, to see if the nation is experiencing a once-in-a-decade phenomenon.

Butterfly Conservation said unusually high numbers of the painted lady butterfly had been spotted flying from Europe to the UK. They usually fly to Britain in the summer, but every 10 years millions arrive in a mass migration.

The charity’s Big Butterfly Count begins on Friday and runs until 11 August.

To take part, people must spend 15 minutes in a sunny spot anywhere in the UK, counting the butterflies they see before submitting sightings online or via the app.

They are encouraged to spot and record 17 species of common butterfly — but what should you be looking out for?

Britain’s most common butterflies and how to spot them

Painted lady: With mainly orange wings, black markings plus white and black spots, painted ladies can be seen anywhere but like dry open spaces. Butterfly Conservation wants to know if this summer is a «painted lady summer». The last time this happened was in 2008 when about 11 million arrived in the UK. The butterflies, flying at speeds of up to 30mph, cover 7,500 miles (12,070km) over several generations as they migrate from Africa to the Arctic Circle and back.

Image copyright Butterfly Conservation/PA

Speckled wood: Look for dark brown wings with cream spots. The butterfly has spread in recent years — an extraordinary «success story» in response to climate change, says Butterfly Conversation — and can be found in East Anglia, the Midlands, much of northern England and some parts of Scotland.

Comma: The comma used to only breed in southern Britain but is now found as far north as central Scotland, with some even crossing the sea to colonise Ireland, says the Woodland Trust. Its wings are orange and brown with deep scallops, giving «an almost ragged appearance».

Image copyright PA Media

Common blue: This is the most widespread blue butterfly in Britain, according to Butterfly Conservation. The males are blue, while the colour of the females varies from nearly completely brown to predominantly blue.

Image copyright Getty Images

Holly blue: This is different from the Common Blue as it does not have orange dots on the underside of its wings. It is widespread in the south of the UK but spreading northwards.

Image copyright Getty Images

Brimstone butterfly: Yellow wings for the males — which is how it is suggested the «butterfly» could have got its name — and pale green for the females. It’s spread in recent years, mainly in northern England, Butterfly Conservation says.

Image copyright Mark Searle/Butterfly Conservation

Marbled white: This species has distinctive black and white wings, unlike any others. It can be found in gardens and especially likes purple flowers. The marbled white is widespread in the south of the UK but has spread north over the last two decades.

Image copyright Mark Searle/Butterfly Conservation

Peacock: The peacock — found throughout the UK — is distinguished by its eye-spot patterns, which it uses to scare off predators by flicking open its wings.

Image copyright PA Media

Red admiral: Found anywhere in Britain and in all habitats, these have dark brown wings with a band of orange or red. After hibernating, each spring they migrate northwards, with many crossing the sea to the UK from Europe.

Large white: Look out for white wings and black tips and, for females, two spots on the upper side of each wing. It is common throughout Britain although many gardeners consider them pests as the caterpillars severely damage Brassica crops, says the RSPB.

Image copyright Getty Images

Small white: Similar to the large white but obviously smaller, this has brilliant white wings with one or two wing spots. It is found in a range of habitats including gardens and particularly allotments where cabbages are growing, says Butterfly Conservation.

Image copyright Ann Collier/Butterfly Conservation

Small tortoiseshell: These are widespread and found throughout Britain. It’s bright orange and black with blue markings around the edges of the wing.

Image copyright Science Photo Library

Meadow brown: This is the most abundant species in many habitats, with hundreds together at some areas. It is brown with an orange patch on each wing around a black eye spot.

Image copyright Jaco Costerus/Butterfly Conservation

Gatekeeper: This is often seen alongside the meadow brown (above), but is more orange with a brown edge around the wings.

Image copyright Mark Searle/Butterfly Conservation

Ringlet: Another brown butterfly, the ringlet’s appearance has been described as «velvety» and is almost black with rings on its wings. It has spread across England and Scotland in recent years.

Image copyright Tim Melling/Butterfly Conservation

Green-veined white: Like its name, look out for white wings with greenish veins. It prefers damp areas and can often be found in hedgerows, ditches, riverbanks as well as ponds and lakes, the charity says.

Image copyright Mark Searle/Butterfly Conservation

Small copper: These are usually spotted on their own or in pairs, says Butterfly Conversation — with territorial males behaving aggressively to other insects. They sometimes visit gardens, so look out for its orange wings and dark brown spots.

Image copyright Mark Searle/Butterfly Conservation


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