We have all heard of the giant squid Architeuthis. It can grow as big as a school bus, and its eyes are the size of dinner plates. Its tentacles can get its prey from 30 feet away. This legendary creature of the sea is very scary, but the question is: how did it get so big in the first place? There’s new research that comes with the answer because we found out more about its genome.
Caroline Albertin stated that “a genome is a first step for answering a lot of questions about the biology of these very weird animals.” These questions are all about how the giant squids have the largest brain from all the invertebrates, and how they become so agile. Albertin then proceeded to say that cephalopods have many complex features, which led to the fact that it is believed that they have evolved independently of the vertebrates. By taking a look at their genome, we can ask ourselves if the cephalopods and the vertebrates are built the same way.
The genome can answer a lot of questions, but it also raises more. The research shows how the size-driving genes of the squid can break the patterns which can be found in the developmental genes of all the other animals. This actually means that the size of the giant squid did not come from the genome duplication, which is a strategy that we accepted a long time ago as being the one that increases the size of the vertebrates. This also means that researchers have even more work to do in order to find out more about the size of the giant squid.
Albertin stated that the fact that we have the genome of the giant squid is also a huge step in finding what makes the cephalopod be a cephalopod.