US aquarium puts Vampire squid on display

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A public aquarium in California has become the first to put a deep sea Vampire squid on display.

Monterey Bay Aquarium put the specimen of Vampyroteuthis infernalis on exhibit last week. It was collected on April 30 with the help of the aquarium's sister organisation, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

Despite the species' sinister appearance and its scientific name — which means 'vampire squid from hell' — this animal is actually a scavenger. Monterey Bay Aquarium explains that the Vampire squid lives on "marine snow" that rains down from above: a mixture of poo, dead animal parts and mucus.

Another rare deep sea specimen, the Japetella octopus has been added to the same exhibit in the aquarium's new 'Tentacles' special exhibition. This octopus has chromatophores that enable it to change its appearance from see-through with spots to an almost solid orange colour.

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