When Squids Fly

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Some species of squid fly at speeds comparable to a motorboat for distances of 50 meters. The cephalopods get into the air the same way they swim underwater: by expelling a jet of water through the center of their body. Once aloft, the squids spread their tentacles to form a semi-rigid wing-like surface for lift. They can also use fins on their mantle as a canard for additional lift or control of their altitude. Researchers suspect the squids use flight as an escape mechanism to put distance between themselves and predators, but it could also be a low-energy migration strategy since a single pulse carries a squid farther in air than in water. (Video and image credit: TED-Ed)

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