Locomotion, feeding and predators


The giant squid gets oxygen from the water using 2 large gills in its mantle. Water is pumped over the gills by expanding the mantle and then pushed out via the funnel. 

The squid uses this expelled water as one method of locomotion, in combination with pulsing the fins on the mantle.


Studies of stomach contents have shown that giant squid feed on:

  • pelagic fishes, such as the Patagonian grenadier, Macruronus magellanicus Lönnberg, 1907, and blue whiting, Micromesistius poutassou (Risso,1826)
  • other pelagic, deep sea squid species


The only known predators of adult giant squid are:

  • sperm whales, Physeter macrocephalus Linnaeus, 1758
  • Pacific sleeper sharks, Somniosus pacificus (Bigelow and Schroeder, 1944)

It has been theorised, however, that sleeper sharks may only feed on dead individuals.