National Geographic : 1969 Mar
worn inside, that is sold as cuttlebone to keep canaries happy. The squid carries about a small internal shell-its so-called "pen" shaped like an antique quill. While the squid's mantle does not secrete a covering shell, it does serve as a propulsion device. Water gathered in the mantle cavity is blasted out from a nozzle, and the animal darts backward. Squids, equipped with mus cular fins, navigate with all the precision and grace of a jet airplane.* One of the vivid memories of my life is of a warm, tropical night in the Bimini Islands, in the Bahamas. In search of the strange and wonderful creatures that prowl the Gulf Stream during darkness, I had rigged a light attheendofadock;Ilaynexttoitwithanet poised for capture.t When the squids appeared, they did so as if by magic. Suddenly they were there, pulsating near the light, flaps undulating and tentacles streaming behind. Carefully I lowered my net and made a stab for them; there was an explosion of motion, and I hauled up an empty net dripping with ink. Two of the Cephalopoda bear similar names *See "Squids: Jet-powered Torpedoes of the Deep," by Gilbert L. Voss, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, March 1967. tDr. Zahl wrote of "Night Life in the Gulf Stream," in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC for March 1954.