A large new species of deep red, glowing squid has been discovered living near undersea mountains in the southern Indian Ocean, scientists announced Monday.
At about 28 inches (70 centimeters) long, the as yet unnamed species is relatively big—though other squid can reach as long as 65 feet (20 meters), some species are barely three quarters of an inch (1.5 centimeters).
The new species belongs to Chiroteuthidae, a group of slender squid in which light-producing organs run in the family.
"It's thought that this particular group of squid actually uses bioluminescence to lure in prey," which are thought to include small fish and crustaceans, said Alex Rogers, a conservation biologist at the University of Oxford in the UK.
The new squid is just one of more than 70 squid species observed during a six-week research cruise that began in September 2009 but whose results are only now beginning to be released.
"In a single expedition, we sampled about a fifth of all the world's squid species that are known to date," Rogers said. "That's really a staggering diversity of squid to sample in a single trip."
Most of the squid observed were already known to science, but, in addition to the blinking beast above, a few are thought to be completely new species.
"We think we have more than one new species of squid," Rogers said. "This just happens to be the biggest and most glamorous one."