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Tailing a Fast Squid

Tailing a Fast Squid

January 11, 2017

This sleek squid sports a futuristic tail ornament. WHOI biologist Aran Mooney and collaborators at Stanford University and the University of Michigan developed a way to attach data-logging tags to soft-bodied animals such as squid and jellyfish. The ITAG (“I” for “invertebrate”) collects data on temperature, light, and animals’ swimming patterns and breathing rates. It eventually detaches, floats to the surface, and relays its location, allowing Mooney and colleagues to retrieve the tag and its data. Squid and jellyfish are important to ocean ecosystems and commercial fisheries. The ITAG could help researchers better understand the animals’ behaviors and responses to changing ocean conditions.(Photo courtesy of Jorge Fontes, Institute of the Azores)