It would appear that the giant squid consists of just one species. Because of their size, it is thought they travel the worlds oceans, breading with other giant squids.
One Big, Happy Family
Though they roam the deep sea around the globe, enigmatic giant squid are all part of the same species, new research finds.
The new study reveals that the genetic diversity of giant squid (Architeuthis) is remarkably low — far lower than that of other marine species examined, said study researcher Tom Gilbert of the University of Copenhagen. The findings suggest that the squid intermingle and mate across the globe.
The researchers extracted DNA from 43 soft-tissue samples from giant squid. Some of the samples came from squid found in whale stomachs or washed ashore, whereas others were frozen samples from giant squid dredged up by fishing trawlers. The scientists analyzed mitochondrial DNA, or mDNA, which is found in tiny cell structures called mitochondria. These structures help cells convert energy into a usable form, and their DNA is separate from the DNA in a cell’s nucleus; mDNA is inherited from the maternal line.
The mDNA sequences were extremely similar among all samples, the researchers found. The samples exhibited more than 20 times less genetic diversity than other local squid populations.