Deep Sea Squid With Teeth – Is it Fact or Fiction?

Deep Sea Squid With Teeth

True or False?

Squid with human-looking teeth? Add to that eight legs and two tentacles, and we’ve got one very odd-looking Promachoteuthis sulcus. This deep sea squid is the only specimen ever seen. It was found in 2007 by a German research vessel, R/V Walther Herwig, in the southern Atlantic ocean, at a depth of 5,740–6,560 ft (1,750–2,000 m).

Squid With Teeth?

As for the “teeth”, they’re not actually teeth at all, but circular, folded lips with only the upper and lower portions visible. Deep inside the mouth, it had a small razor-sharp beak, used to chop and chew prey.

It is distinguished from related taxa on the basis of several morphological features: nuchal fusion between the head and mantle, much larger size of arm suckers compared to club suckers, greater width of tentacle base than arm base, a recessed club base, and the presence of an aboral tentacle groove.

This squid was an immature female and only 1 inch (25 mm) long.

LocationSouth Atlantic: 37°S, 12°W
CommentsThe squid seems to have a set of dentures. The “dentures” are the circular, folded lips, of which only the upper and lower portions can be seen. The lips surround the beaks which are not visible in this photograph.
Specimen ConditionPreserved
Life Cycle StageImmature
Body Partbrachial crown
Size25 mm ML
CollectionNMNH 730702
Image UseThis media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License – Version 3.0.
Copyright© 2003 Richard E. Young
Attached to GroupPromachoteuthis sulcus: view page image collection
Image TypePhotograph
Image ContentSpecimen(s)


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See also: “What is a Sea Pig? Icky Mushy, Mushy Sea Cucumber Thing?


Jeanne Melanson
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