I had to revisit the dumbo squid for two reasons. First, I realized the photo in the original post didn’t give a good view of the dumbo squid’s ear-like flaps that make it look like Disney’s famous flying elephant. So here is a better shot of the ear flaps, although they are slightly out of focus because the dumbo squid kept swimming and flapping them around.
The second reason for revisiting the dumbo squid is besides being darn cute, I just found out the main way to discern a squid from an octopus. The answer is in the tentacles.
When I was doing research for the last post (before my computer caught a virus), I came across information referring to this little critter as the dumbo octopus and the dumbo squid. This has been bothering me ever since because it has to be one or the other! So back to the tentacles…I discovered that the main was to know if you are looking at a squid or an octopus is to count the tentacles. An octopus of course has 8 and a squid has 10.
Now looking at the photo, it looks like this critter has 8 tentacles with some cool webbing in between. There’s clearly six in the front nicely distributed and it looks like the seventh is just along the right side of the head towards the back and if you look really closely you can see the very tip of the eighth tentacle sticking out on the top of the head.
There you have it…the dumbo octopus. But I don’t dare claim that this case is closed, I’ve found that when it comes to ocean animals there are always exceptions to the rule. If I find out more, you will be the first to know!