HEY KIDS: Make a Vampyroteuthis Hat!
The Vampire Squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis)
The vampire squid is a member of the class Cephalopoda. Cephalopods are a large group of soft-bodied marine invertebrates that include squid, octopuses, cuttlefish,and nautiluses.
While vampire squid may look like squid and octopus in some ways, they are much more primitive, closely resembling fossils more than 250 million-years-old. In spite of their scary-sounding name, vampire squid are delicate, slow-moving creatures that drift along in the dark, cold layer of the ocean called the oxygen-minimum zone.
Organisms have a hard time surviving in this environment because of the low levels of dissolved oxygen in the water. As a result,there are few predators and even fewer organisms that vampire squid can prey upon. They feed primarily on tiny particles of organic material that drift down from the ocean surface,a substance sometimes called“marine snow.” Vampire squid capture this organic material using a long, sticky feeding filament similar to a fishing line, then slurp off the bits and pieces that get stuck to it…
(Go here to print out your hat: Science Friday)