Glow-in the-dark squid? Plus, what’s the amazing, vicious difference between squid and octopi?

On a recent expedition to explore the seamounts in the southern Indian Ocean by scientists, a new species of large squid was discovered. A specimen of the new species, which can grow up to 30 inches long, belongs to the deep-sea Chiroteuthid family, which are known for being radically bioluminescent (naturally glowing.) Don’t confuse this squid with the squidworm, a creature also just discovered that is so unusual that it requires a brand new genus.

This lovely squid find sparked a common question regarding squids and octopi (or octopuses, both plural forms are correct.) How do the two marine creatures differ?

Both tentacled types have a ton in common. They both live in salt water and are related to snails. They both move by jet propulsion and have hard beaks that are used to rip away the flesh of their prey. Neither animal produces poison that can harm humans. (The blue ringed octopus is an exception.) Expelling ink is a shared defense against predators.

And both creatures, amazingly, have blue blood.

(Speaking of blood and the ocean, researchers also recently announced the discovery of a critter called the “Dracula fish.” Learn the reason behind the grim name, here.)

While both species are related to mollusks, octopuses have no remnant of a shell. On the other hand, squids have a pen, a stiff structure that acts like a flexible backbone.

Squids and octopuses both have eight arms lined with suckers. But squids have two additional, prey-capturing tentacles that can be compared to implements from a horror film.

Their diets are also different. Octopuses feast on bottom-dwelling crustaceans, while squids eat fishes and shrimps. And, while squids live in schools in the open ocean, octopuses reside alone in sea floor dens.


The Record (Bergen County, NJ) December 16, 1999 | MAIA DAVIS, Staff Writer MAIA DAVIS, Staff Writer The Record (Bergen County, NJ) 12-16-1999 BLACK LEADERS WANT DETAILS OF GUARD’S BUYOUT DEAL By MAIA DAVIS, Staff Writer Date: 12-16-1999, Thursday Section: NEWS Edition: Two Star P, Also in One Star B

African-American community leaders Wednesday said they will press Passaic County officials to reveal the terms of a secret deal they made with youth detention guard Ronald Cohen in exchange for his resignation.

Cohen, 29, was a Paterson housing officer whose fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager during a drug arrest in 1995 sparked riots in the city. Cohen, who is white, was not charged in the death of Lawrence Meyers and told authorities the gun went off accidentally.

When he was hired late last month as a guard at the county’s youth lockup, however, African-American community leaders were outraged. website law enforcement jobs

Cohen’s hiring by detention center director Robert Garigliano reopened the wound caused by the Meyers slaying, said black officers at the lockup and African-American leaders. The agreement freeholders announced Tuesday has not healed it, they said.

Sources say Cohen will receive about $7,600 in exchange for his resignation and agreement never to seek another law enforcement job in the county. In addition, county officials agreed not to reveal certain terms of the deal, including the sum paid. Officials said they had to accept that condition to resolve the matter quickly.

But the Rev. James Kuykendall, president of the Paterson Pastors Workshop, said his group will write a letter to freeholders demanding that they publicly release the details.

“It should have been made public,” Kuykendall said, “because whatever the agreement is, is going to be at the expense of taxpayers.”

An attorney for The Record told County Counsel William Pascrell III on Wednesday that the newspaper also is seeking public disclosure of the agreement.

“The public is completely entitled to this information,” said Vivian Waixel, editor and vice president of The Record. “How else can they judge the merits of the settlement?”

County officials said Cohen’s attorney insisted on keeping certain terms confidential. If the county had not agreed to this condition, negotiations would have dragged on, said Pascrell, whose office negotiated the agreement.

He said freeholders and the black community demanded swift action.

“What were we going to do — hunker down and not meet one of his [Cohen's] fundamental requests?” he asked.

Despite the non-disclosure aspect of the agreement, county sources said Cohen will receive four months of his $23,000 annual salary. In addition, the county agreed to report to any of Cohen’s future prospective employers that he resigned in good standing, the sources said.

Kuykendall said black residents are upset that, for the second time since Meyers was killed, Cohen is getting paid to leave a law enforcement job. go to site law enforcement jobs

“It looks like another opportunity for Mr. Cohen to make money at the expense of the life of the late Lawrence Meyers,” Kuykendall said.

Paterson paid Cohen $48,000 last year in exchange for his resignation and promise never to apply for another police job in that city.

The city had tried to fire him 10 months after the Meyers shooting because of what officials said was poor performance unrelated to the incident, as well as an unsatisfactory psychological evaluation. A state board reinstated Cohen because Paterson had failed to allow him to complete his one-year probation.

At the Tuesday freeholder meeting, Calvin Merritt, president of the Passaic city chapter of the NAACP, strongly protested the secrecy of the county’s deal with Cohen. Merritt said Wednesday that he cares less about the money than about whether the county will give Cohen a good recommendation when he applies for law enforcement jobs in other counties or states.

Merritt added that he applauds Pascrell for the quick work on the issue.

“That part, I’m 150 percent satisfied with,” Merritt said. “The secrecy of it, I am not satisfied [with] at all. The secrecy might allow him to get other law enforcement jobs.”

Also Tuesday, freeholders replaced Garigliano with Delores Ferguson, an African-American who is a sergeant at the Sheriff’s Department.

Freeholders were not aware Garigliano hired Cohen for the detention center job until they heard it from reporters. Once Cohen was hired, they said, they risked a lawsuit if they tried to fire him.

Moreover, officials said Wednesday, the county was “between a rock and a hard place” in negotiations with Cohen. He had no blemishes on his record — no criminal charges and no firing from previous positions — to justify letting him go. Under civil service rules, he was entitled to keep working at the detention center.

Freeholders voted unanimously in favor of the agreement with Cohen.

Several said Wednesday, however, that they were uncomfortable with not being able to discuss all the terms.

“In some cases, people just have to trust in their elected officials that we’re doing the right thing by the people,” said Freeholder James Gallagher, a member of the board’s Democratic majority.

Republican Freeholder Scott Rumana said that although he voted for the agreement, he thinks the county eventually will have to reveal its terms.


  1. YO MAMA -  January 13, 2011 - 5:31 pm

    i always thought they were the same thing…

  2. Anonymous -  January 6, 2011 - 1:59 pm

    @Funny Man

    Actually, a couple of scientists did it and published their work 58 years ago (1953). Ever heard of the Miller-Urey Experiment?

  3. blair waldorf -  December 8, 2010 - 12:43 am

    @lingUist geeK-sage(RP):

    hardworking enough that they’ve been deleting my comments for the past few days. SO here’s one for you iilii

  4. lingUist geeK-sage(RP) -  December 7, 2010 - 12:24 pm

    It easily one of the most fascinating feature you guys posted.. Two thumbs up to the hardworking staff. The article says it’s “interesting”, I’m thrilled to disagree because it is undestatement,awe-strucking is the perfect word.To say the very least it disturbs the equanimity of my nonchalant mind.

  5. smoothius -  December 2, 2010 - 11:56 am

    the reason they have blue blood is that they originated from the planet vulcan and were deposited here to confound our emotional views of the the world as we know it

  6. WALNUT -  November 30, 2010 - 5:47 pm


  7. juile -  November 30, 2010 - 11:05 am

    i love squid!!!!!!!!!!! actully thats my nick name!!!!
    squid is my nickname

  8. Samuel Lawrence Gutierrez -  November 29, 2010 - 5:32 pm

    good point,Rudolf Lowey-Ball.♥

  9. Mateo -  November 29, 2010 - 4:28 pm

    yummy ;)

  10. Saf -  November 29, 2010 - 10:41 am


    Actually, “fishes” is an acceptable plural of fish, especially if you’re referring to a group comprised of different species.

    As for all of you people who get annoyed by “Octopi,” common usage defines language. I seriously doubt that you use the proper Latin pronunciation for our Latin loanwords (you’d sound pretty silly if you did). Don’t make me list all of the preposterous hypocrisies that you’re guilty of.


    • Gooseberry -  June 1, 2014 - 3:15 pm

      But isn’t “octupus” Greek? Therefore, shouldn’t it be “octopodes”?

  11. Mark V -  November 29, 2010 - 7:05 am

    Octomopuses have 6 legs, and 2 arms.

  12. snowdrop -  November 29, 2010 - 2:15 am

    I didn’t check all the comments to see whether anybody mentioned either animal as being intelligent. They showed experiments being done with octopuses in both Spanish and Italian coastal waters. These mainly involved their problem-solving skills, and their intelligence is amazing.
    So I’m beginning to wonder if squids have the same degree of intelligence, though since they have a stiff backbone (pen), they may have more trouble with these experiments, some of which required total flexibility.

  13. Jocantha Telsey -  November 28, 2010 - 8:26 pm

    I used to think squids had six arms; that’s how i remembered the difference. But I thought only fish lived in schools. Squid do too?

  14. Anonymous Puss. -  November 28, 2010 - 3:47 pm

    if you click on my name. click on this name.

  15. bubbles -  November 28, 2010 - 3:47 pm

    it said fishes. fish is plural for a fish. it doesnt change.

  16. Anonymous Puss. -  November 28, 2010 - 3:46 pm

    Nope! It’s Octopi (:

    I just want to say that this is quite useful and I enjoy reading “the hot word”.

  17. Sherlock's Robot -  November 28, 2010 - 3:31 pm

    there are actually three known species of poisonous cephalopods: the Blue-Ringed Octopus, the Pajama-Striped Squid, and the Flamboyant Cuttlefish.

  18. Mateo -  November 28, 2010 - 3:27 pm

    By the way, I’m REALLY sorry if I offended anyone. Please leave a comment in response to mine if you truly think someone cares about the correct plural form of octopus. Oh, and the article was great. Especially for marine-biologists (which I am not…)

  19. Mateo -  November 28, 2010 - 3:25 pm

    I kinda like this comment thing. It’s fun :)

  20. Mateo -  November 28, 2010 - 3:24 pm

    Are you guys like super-intelligent marine biologists or something? I am a very intelligent individual, but seriously. NO ONE CARES ABOUT THE PLURAL OF OCTOPUS.

  21. runrun -  November 28, 2010 - 3:21 pm

    It is difficult to know how and if other creatures and subdtances have feelings.

  22. Mateo -  November 28, 2010 - 3:19 pm

    I mean, really. Who needs to get all excited about the plural of “OCTOPUS?” Calm down people.

  23. Mateo -  November 28, 2010 - 3:17 pm

    You guys are CRAZY.

  24. Xena -  November 28, 2010 - 1:52 pm

    Fascinating! I wonder what color the squid glows.

  25. Lyle Crocodile -  November 28, 2010 - 12:56 pm

    The plural of octopus is really octopod

  26. Irving Rosenfeld -  November 28, 2010 - 12:50 pm

    Now I don’t know which is correct, octopodes or octopedi, but I’ll use octopodes because it is consistent with arthropodes and cephalopods. As to the English plural, is it octopuses or octopusses? I’ll vote for the latter as being consistent with the usual rules for plurals.

  27. diamond -  November 28, 2010 - 11:31 am


  28. Colten of awesomeness -  November 28, 2010 - 11:18 am

    wow… I didn’t Know that Sqids had spines… :0

  29. Ari -  November 28, 2010 - 10:50 am

    @sprode: Applause.

  30. Ari -  November 28, 2010 - 10:49 am

    @Mermaid: Your enthusiasm and desire to learn are positively endearing!


  31. bella -  November 28, 2010 - 10:46 am

    what would happen if they ran out of ink in a attack

  32. Aileanenfahrt -  November 28, 2010 - 10:03 am

    I have heard there is a tiny, beach-loving, cephalopod, [size of a baby's little fingernail] that gets under the skin of vacationers {mostly} and are fatal if not discovered & attended to within 24-48 hr. from their entry.
    Is this “Bio-Fi?” If not, and my info is factual, “neither is poisonous” must be untrue. Wot?

  33. Metreger -  November 28, 2010 - 9:13 am

    What about the giant squids deep in the oceans?
    I never heard about a giant octopus.
    Isn’t that another great difference between them?

  34. Queen Sardonic -  November 28, 2010 - 9:08 am

    @Rudolf Lowey-Ball
    Thank you!!! Finally, SOMEONE other than me who recognizes that ‘octopi’, in fact, is incorrect. And that was a very informative paragraph on why. Convinced my friend like THAT! *snaps fingers* Thanks!

  35. Funny Man -  November 28, 2010 - 8:55 am

    Has anyone here read that article on how scientist created life without using anything at all that was ever alive? Ohh…wait, that hasn’t happened. I’m sure that when it does (and it won’t) Sprode will be dancing in the streets.

  36. John -  November 28, 2010 - 8:47 am

    Informative and entertaining. Thanks for the good writing.

  37. Jason -  November 28, 2010 - 8:31 am

    Cool. You should compare the cuttlefish to those creatures as well

  38. Yrecho -  November 28, 2010 - 8:22 am

    thanks for sharing this info. it helps me a lot.

  39. Octopodes -  November 28, 2010 - 8:09 am

    I’m still finding it annoying that people refuse to use the correct plural for octopus (octopodes or octopuses).

  40. Parsa -  November 28, 2010 - 7:39 am

    amazing. Some animal with blue blood.

  41. Animal Lover1314 -  November 28, 2010 - 7:19 am

    I love animals!
    I agree that this is the best blog by far!!

  42. Kassim -  November 28, 2010 - 1:50 am

    Dats interestin’. Cool info but wat’s da correct plural for octopus?

  43. Ace-of-Stars -  November 28, 2010 - 12:58 am

    (By the way, kudos to “Rudolf” for the insightful information regarding the ‘proper’ pluralization of the name “octopus.”)

  44. Ace-of-Stars -  November 28, 2010 - 12:56 am

    What was also not mentioned in this article is the differences in “temperment” between the two animals. Squids are often quite “aggressive” by nature; whereas Octopuses are generally renowned for their shyness & passivity.

  45. sprode -  November 27, 2010 - 9:46 pm

    Octopi and squid would not deem themselves low enough as to rely on God for their genesis.

  46. promotion from octopus to squid -  November 27, 2010 - 9:43 pm

    octopus lives alone underground, squids live in school in the open ocean, sea mammals live by family with mystique communication.

  47. promotion from octopus to squid -  November 27, 2010 - 9:32 pm

    hoping to get promoted from squid to dolphin

  48. Erisu -  November 27, 2010 - 8:58 pm

    I cannot subscribe to the irrelevance of this article. Aside from some informational falsities (octopuses/octopeds [both, from a zoological standpoint are acceptable] have commonly been known to eat fish, shrimp, small sea turtles, and other cephalopods…not just crustaceans) and grammatical impurities, I can’t help but fortify Aleksei’s comment by saying that hundreds to thousands of new genera and species are discovered each year. You said yourself, there have been other cases of bioluminescent cephalopods (for example the Colossal Squid, Vampyroteuthis infernalis, and the Sparkling Enope Squid), so why does this case grab special attention. To respond to cyberquill, octopuses are actually smarter. They have showed intelligence on a analytical and problem-solving scale. Some species are also known to be negatively thermotaxic (they shy away from heat)

  49. phylosophy -  November 27, 2010 - 8:22 pm

    evolution in plain view… amazing!!

  50. alex lopeito -  November 27, 2010 - 7:25 pm

    Who cares! all i know is that there both great fried and in salads.

  51. Emi -  November 27, 2010 - 6:59 pm

    Funny, I always knew there was a difference between the two but I never knew what it was. Cool info!

  52. TechnoScotty -  November 27, 2010 - 4:52 pm

    If you follow your own link for octopi you will see that is not the correct plural form. Octopus is from a Greek root, not Latin.

    The Grammar Police

  53. the question -  November 27, 2010 - 4:49 pm

    What amazing creatures God has made.

  54. MR -  November 27, 2010 - 2:52 pm

    Is this the part where someone points out that because “octopus” is Greek, not Latin, the appropriate plural would be more like “octopedi”?

  55. Eyewitness -  November 27, 2010 - 2:43 pm

    Squid also have round pupils but octopii have rectangular pupils, which, by the way, are oriented by autotonical reflex to a consistent horizon, relative to the body position.

    Yuk, but so ingenious.

  56. Carman -  November 27, 2010 - 2:24 pm

    Intriguing article! Fascinating and informative. Good work.

  57. cool -  November 27, 2010 - 1:19 pm

    That is nice to know…………………………..
    Very interesting. Funny how people do that.

  58. Aleksei -  November 27, 2010 - 1:12 pm

    Octopi and squid aren’t relanted to molluscs, they ARE molluscs. And the creation of a new genus in the discovery of a new animal isn’t all that unusual, especially with new deep-sea technology. And just what was so “vicious” about difference between squid and octopi?

  59. Cyberquill -  November 27, 2010 - 12:58 pm

    I suppose squids are a lot smarter because they live in schools.

  60. Nathan Hunter -  November 27, 2010 - 11:38 am

    What? I thought squids have nine arms. Man, they are too much the same.

  61. John McRedder -  November 27, 2010 - 9:26 am

    um so i cant understand youre wordds. thay our to big for me too now. wy cant you just make them so i can understand? wats a crustacean?


  62. Michael Dadona -  November 27, 2010 - 8:38 am

    Your article taking me back to remember “Paul” the oracle octopus died on Oct 26, 2010. May be for another comparison between large squid and octopus that should be taken into account is octopus got 9 brains.

    Sad to know that octopus life span is not long which is two and a half years. How’s about large squid?

  63. Grazip -  November 27, 2010 - 7:58 am

    It’s octopi, not octopuses.

  64. Paul S -  November 27, 2010 - 7:55 am

    Most interesting and informative article. Actually, the word ‘interesting’ understates it.

  65. Mermaid -  November 27, 2010 - 7:19 am

    OMG I love you guys! This was the most fascinating blog entry by far! I love learning about new additions to the animal kingdom, it makes me feel like the world around us is expanding! I love love love marine biology since it is such an active field, there are so many critters being discovered every day! Thank you soooo much and now I am off to research the dracula fish and squidworm now, I am so intrigued!

  66. CALAMARI | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  November 27, 2010 - 7:06 am

    [...] box of whole squid for bait frozen — once was just a few dollars. — We’d take it home, thaw it, and [...]

  67. Rudolf Lowey-Ball -  November 27, 2010 - 7:03 am

    Strictly speaking, “octopi” is not a correct plural for octopus. The “us” at the end of “octopus” is not the Latin masculine ending that would pluralize as “i”. It is acutally part of “pus”, Greek for foot, the word “octopus” a Latin/Greek conglomoration meaning 8-foot(ed). Thus the formal options for pluralizing the word would be “octpuses” and “octopodes”. While “octopi” is so common a usage as to be properly regarded as correct, I would think a dictionary site should make note of the mistaken folk etymology.

  68. limber slumber -  November 27, 2010 - 6:15 am

    squids ever daydream?

  69. trilby -  November 27, 2010 - 4:49 am

    Plus, octopuses are tastier than squids. ;)


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