Squid: The Inside Story

What supports a squid's body?

As an invertebrate, a squid has no bones. A feather-shaped blade, or gladius, helps support the body and serves as a site for muscle attachment. It is made of chitin, like your fingernails. Cartilage (tough, gristle-like tissue) surrounds a squid's brain.

Photo label: Gladius from the giant squid, Architeuthis dux

Photo Credit: Frederick Aldrich/Memorial Univeristy of Newfoundland

What do these three things have in common?

Squid tentacle
Elephant trunk
Human tongue

None have bones.

The muscles attach to and pull against each other. Move your tongue to feel how.

Ocean Planet Exhibition Floorplan

Smithsonian Giant Squid Overview Page

gene carl feldman / gene@seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov