There is no creature in the ocean quite like a squid, with its beady black eyes and tentacles at the front of its body. Squids have become so diversified as a species that they range in size from just a few inches to over twenty feet long. So, what would you call them if you saw a group of squid together?
A group of squid is called a squad. While this is the official term for a group of squid specifically, you can also refer to them as a shoal or school of squid, much like you can with other marine animals.
Squid squads can often be found in the ocean, where members of the same species often stick together for safety.
But what more is there to know about squids and their natural habitats?
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about squid and why a group of them is called a squad.
What Is a Squid?
Squids are ocean-dwelling cephalopods that have likely been on the earth for millions of years. They’ve been so successful at survival that they’ve changed very little over this time instead of evolving rapidly to adapt as many other animals have.
The squid you could encounter today will look much the same as the squid that lived hundreds of thousands of years ago.
Squids are great at survival because they’ve evolved the ability to camouflage with their surroundings. Even though over 300 species of squid are in the world’s oceans, most have some form of biological camouflage to help them catch prey and avoid predators.
When hunting for food, squid is a patient hunter. Using their natural camouflage, they will lie in wait for a fish or other animal to swim by, then strike before they can get away.
This is one-way squids have remained such a successful organism over the millions of years they’ve existed.
Squids have become so integral to many ecosystems in the ocean that they are an important predator and source of prey for some other organisms. For example, one of the main food sources for sperm whales is the giant squid, which they can reach by diving thousands of feet under the surface.
As you can see, squid has spread to most ecosystems in the ocean, from the systems closer to the surface down to the very bottom of the ocean’s depths.
Origins of the Term for Groups of Squid
It may seem a bit offhand that the group of squid is called a “squad,” but there’s a good reason for it. And no, not just because it sounds fun to say, “squid squad.” Although, that is a pretty good reason in and of itself.
Groups of squid have become known as squads because they tend to form a tight formation when traveling together. This is to help watch for predators and maximize their chances of catching prey if they come across something.
It also helps them to remain unnoticed by forming a specific formation and coordinating their camouflaging to throw off further predators that may be stalking them.
Essentially, you can think of a squad of squid-like a squad of soldiers. They are a tight-knit group, each having its own function to perform for the group’s survival. Their tight formations allow them to survive better in the wild and to hunt more effectively. However, squid won’t travel in squads as often as you may think.
Scientists have tracked squid populations across the world’s oceans for over a century. They’ve noticed that since the 1950s, the overall squid population has seen a massive surge.
While they’re not entirely sure why there are so many squid squads roaming the oceans today, researchers think it may have something to do with human fishing practices. Either that, or it’s due to some natural earth cycle.
Either way, there is a lot of squid around today. A recent study estimated that if you were to take the net weight of all humans on the planet and compare it to the net weight of all the planet’s squid, the squid would end up heavier. Squids have become so common in many parts of the ocean that some have started calling them the “weeds of the ocean.”
Even though squid has many natural predators in the wild, such as sperm whales, sharks, dolphins, seals, and even seabirds, they still find a way to continue to propagate wherever they go.
And don’t forget that we humans like to eat them too! Calamari is a popular dish in many parts of the world, making us a natural predator of the squid.
Squids are one of the most adaptable animals in the world, having existed for millions of years. Even though this species has been around so long, they haven’t changed much biologically. This means that overall, they are an extremely successful species, and population trends in recent decades have gone to prove that.
When traveling in groups in the ocean, squid can be called “squads.” Like many other kinds of marine animals, you can refer to a group of squid as shoal or “school” if you prefer. However, the squad is the term used to refer to a group of squid only.
These strange little animals continue to amaze researchers with their ability to survive and hunt. Their natural camouflage allows them to blend in with their surroundings, helping them become more effective hunters and shielding them from potential predators.
They truly are amazing little creatures. Well, some are little. Other types of squid, like the giant squid, can reach up to 20 or 30 feet in length!