How Whales Attack Squid: Mystery Deepens

How Whales Attack Squid: Mystery Deepens.Squid have excellent eyesight, a keen sense of smell, and the ability to squirt jets of dark ink that mask their escape. But these skills provide little protection against toothed whales, like the sperm whale, which hunt them ruthlessly and easily.

“The numbers of squid that are eaten by sperm whales far exceed those harvested by men for food on a worldwide basis,” said squid-expert Roger Hanlon of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

How the whales manage to subdue such able prey has been a mystery. One hypothesis, proposed more than 20 years ago, speculated the whales used powerful ultrasound shrieks to knock their squid prey senseless before scooping them up. Like bats and dolphins, some whales use ultrasonic clicks to find prey and navigate.

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