Scientists find out how ancient vampire squids survived the catastrophe that killed the dinosaurs

Czech scientists from Charles University in Prague studied the fossilized remains of the vampire squid Vampyroteuthis infernalis, 30 million years old, and found a clue to two mysteries at once. Initially, this species originated as early as 200 million years ago, but after 50 million years its traces are lost, so that later it appears only after 120 million years. Where have these squids been hiding all this time? Answer: almost on the seabed itself.

The very name "vampire squid" indicates not a way of life, but its complexity. Firstly, these creatures live many times longer than their closest relatives, they are real centenarians. Secondly, they live at depths from 1 to 3 km, where there is practically no oxygen and, as previously thought, there is no food either. But squids survive and thrive like fairy-tale monsters - hence the name.

A particular difficulty in studying these squid was the lack of samples - due to the fact that they live in deep water. But this is what saved them, saved them from extinction after the fall of the meteorite that killed the dinosaurs. Vampire squids feed on organic "underwater snow", the remains of dead creatures that descend to the depths, where they are caught by the tentacles of cephalopods. A thick layer of water reliably protects animals from cataclysms above, and the more living creatures die there, the more food the squid has.

Vampire Squid Fossil