Send to

Choose Destination
J Exp Biol. 2012 Sep 15;215(Pt 18):3175-90. doi: 10.1242/jeb.072538.

Locomotion and behavior of Humboldt squid, Dosidicus gigas, in relation to natural hypoxia in the Gulf of California, Mexico.

Author information

Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University, 120 Oceanview Boulevard, Pacific Grove, CA 93950, USA.


We studied the locomotion and behavior of Dosidicus gigas using pop-up archival transmitting (PAT) tags to record environmental parameters (depth, temperature and light) and an animal-borne video package (AVP) to log these parameters plus acceleration along three axes and record forward-directed video under natural lighting. A basic cycle of locomotor behavior in D. gigas involves an active climb of a few meters followed by a passive (with respect to jetting) downward glide carried out in a fins-first direction. Temporal summation of such climb-and-glide events underlies a rich assortment of vertical movements that can reach vertical velocities of 3 m s(-1). In contrast to such rapid movements, D. gigas spends more than 80% of total time gliding at a vertical velocity of essentially zero (53% at 0±0.05 m s(-1)) or sinking very slowly (28% at -0.05 to -0.15 m s(-1)). The vertical distribution of squid was compared with physical features of the local water column (temperature, oxygen and light). Oxygen concentrations of ≤20 μmol kg(-1), characteristic of the midwater oxygen minimum zone (OMZ), can influence the daytime depth of squid, but this depends on location and season, and squid can 'decouple' from this environmental feature. Light is also an important factor in determining daytime depth, and temperature can limit nighttime depth. Vertical velocities were compared over specific depth ranges characterized by large differences in dissolved oxygen. Velocities were generally reduced under OMZ conditions, with faster jetting being most strongly affected. These data are discussed in terms of increased efficiency of climb-and-glide swimming and the potential for foraging at hypoxic depths.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center