Pictured above is a juvenile Hawaiian Bobtail Squid captured by Mark Smith. This squid measures between 1 and 2 millimetres in width, and was captured at 5x magnification in salt water.

As nocturnal predators, Hawaiian Bobtail Squid remain buried in the sand during daylights hours. At night the squid emerge to hunt for shrimp. To protect themselves from larger predators while hunting, the squid use bacterial bioluminescence to mask its silhouette. To the unknowing eye, the squid will look like moonlight shimmering in the water. Research by Dr. Spencer Nyholm from the University of Connecticut indicates that the squid’s light organ is attached to the ink sac. It uses the ink like a camera’s shutter: to control the amount of light it projects to adjust to the light conditions.

This image of the  Juvenile Hawaiian Bobtail Squid was chosen as top 10 by the National Science Foundation’s Visualization Challenge, which you can read more about, here.

Image credit: Mark Smith, M.S. Geoscientist

Research credit: Dr. Spencer Nyholm, University of Connecticut

Image source: Macroscopic Solutions