Marine Science Faculty Publications

Slow Swimming, Fast strikes: Effects of Feeding Behavior on Acaling of Anaerobic Metabolism in Epipelagic Squid

Document Type


Publication Date



Tentacles, Glycolitic scaling, Metabolic capacity

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Many pelagic fishes engage prey at high speeds supported by high metabolic rates and anaerobic metabolic capacity. Epipelagic squids are reported to have among the highest metabolic rates in the oceans as a result of demanding foraging strategies and the use of jet propulsion, which is inherently inefficient. This study examined enzymatic proxies of anaerobic metabolism in two species of pelagic squid, Dosidicus gigas and Doryteuthis pealeii (Lesueur 1821), over a size range of six orders of magnitude. We hypothesized that activity of the anaerobically poised enzymes would be high and increase with size as in ecologically similar fishes. In contrast, we demonstrate that anaerobic metabolic capacity in these organisms scales negatively with body mass. We explored several cephalopod-specific traits, such as the use of tentacles to capture prey, body morphology and reduced relative prey size of adult squids, that may create a diminished reliance on anaerobically fueled burst activity during prey capture in large animals.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Experimental Biology, v. 217, issue 15, p. 2710-2716