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Squid Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

A squid is a kind of animal that lives in oceans all over the world. This lesson will teach you about the squid, some interesting facts about its soft body, where it lives and what it likes to eat.

What is a Squid?

Imagine swimming along in the ocean when you see an animal with a long body and what looks like octopus arms coming out of its head. It has huge eyes and is watching you as you try to swim closer. Suddenly, it squirts a dark, inky liquid! When the dark liquid disappears, the animal is gone, too! You just met a squid!

A squid is an animal with a soft, tapered body that lives in the ocean and has shorter arms and two longer tentacles. There are different kinds of squid and they come in all different sizes, from under one inch to almost 60 feet. That is nearly twice as long as a typical school bus!

Giant Squid with Arms and Two Long Tentacles
Giant Squid

Although they have a soft body, they have a shell, too. Unlike animals, including clams, whose shells are on the outside, a squid's shell is on the inside.

A squid may have eight or ten arms with suction cups, like an octopus, growing out of their head, and two tentacles, which are usually longer than their arms.

Squid with Suction Cups on its Arms
Squid with Suction Cups on its Arms

The tentacles are long limbs that also stick out from a squid's head, usually have suction cups or spiky hooks, and are generally used to grab food. After grabbing their dinner, they tear it apart with a sharp, bird-like beak.

Squid are carnivores, which means they eat meat. Some eat shrimp, other squid, and fish. Some large squid even use their tentacles to catch and choke sharks so they can eat them.

How do Squid Move?

Squid have fins to help them move, but they have some tricks up their sleeves, too, which help them escape danger.

Squid Swimming
Squid Swimming

Think about blowing up a balloon. When you let go of the end without tying it, it flies around the room because the air is coming out quickly, pushing the balloon around.

When a squid needs to make a quick getaway, it draws water into a sack around its head and then pushes it out very fast through a muscular tube, just like when you blew up the balloon and let it go. It can point that tube anywhere to get away from an enemy. Some kinds of squid can even move up to 25 miles per hour!

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