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For the first time a giant squid has been filmed in its natural habitat.
In hopes of drawing the animals in, [Edith] Widder [of the Ocean Research and Conservation Association] used a different sort of light. Although very little sunlight penetrates to the deep sea, many deep dwellers produce a bioluminescent light. Past research by Widder suggests that the bioluminescence can act as a sort of burglar alarm, among other functions. The idea is that the bioluminescence produced by some prey when they are attacked may serve to attract larger predators — such a giant squid — that will then eat the attacker.
Widder and her colleagues therefore fitted Medusa with an electronic device that mimicked the bioluminescence that jellyfish produce when attacked to serve as a lure. It worked: Medusa first encountered a squid during its second deployment, igniting jubilation on the ship. “I just was blown away,” says Widder,” I couldn’t have been happier.”