I thought I’d pass this along to my dorkier readers. The vampire squid does not crave blood. I know, that sounds like a stupid thing to say; just because they named it the vampire squid (due entirely to how bad ass it looks) hardly means it would actually BE a vampire in the OMG NOSFURATOO DRAKYOULUH way, but most other squid species (possibly all, what do I know) are predators. That means they actually do drink blood, at least in the sense that they don’t spit it out while they’re tearing into the flesh of their victims. But not the vampire squid.
No, much like the vampires from Twilight, the vampire squid sucks shit.
You have no idea how fun it was to type that.
It’s actually a pretty cool example of creative evolution. Over evolutionary time, this particular species of squid adapted to living in areas that are fairly oxygen-poor. Having less oxygen means a lot of trade-offs. Some animals go small, some become sluggish to conserve energy, and the vampire squid went the eating poop road, as well as eating the remains of other animals and plankton. Another somewhat famous example of an animal adapting to low oxygen levels would be Tiktaalik, who went another way altogether and developed the ability to breath air, using its adapted fins to push it’s snout out of the water and sucking air into its lungs.
So what’s the big deal about oxygen poor water? Who would want to adapt to life there? Well, like everything, there are good sides and bad sides to life there. For Tiktaalik (at least if I have this correct), the oxygen-poor shallow water was teeming with smaller fish with ample access to food. Larger predators couldn’t stay in the shallows, so they lived a fairly secure life. Then along came Tiktaalik with a solution to the oxygen problem, and suddenly it’s banquet time. For the vampire squid, they don’t have to worry about predators nearly as much as if they had adapted to a different environment. It’s all about life finding a way, and it fascinates me.