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Hadal cephalopods: first squid observation (Oegopsida, Magnapinnidae, Magnapinna sp.) and new records of finned octopods (Cirrata) at depths > 6000 m in the Philippine Trench


During a manned submersible dive in the Philippine Trench, a solitary oegopsid squid of the monogeneric family Magnapinnidae was observed swimming close to the seafloor at 6212 m. The estimated mantle length of the squid was ca. 10 cm. The long slender terminal arm and tentacle filaments characteristic of adult Magnapinna were not obvious in the video. The filaments may have been contracted or may not yet have developed. This observation is the first record of squid at hadal depths and extends the known bathymetric range for any squid by 1477 m; an increase of ca. 30%. We also observed four cirrate octopods between 6212 and 6224 m. Although the video quality was poor, these octopods did not appear to be the same species as those reported previously in the Java Trench. These observations extend the known hadal occurrence of cirrates, and cephalopods in general, from the Indian Ocean to the equatorial North Pacific Ocean, suggesting that their global presence in depths > 6000 m may be more extensive than previously recognized.

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Data availability

The data that support the findings of this study are copyright of Caladan Oceanic LLC and restrictions apply to the availability of these data, which were used under licence for the current study, and so are not publicly available. Data are, however, available from the authors upon reasonable request and with permission of Caladan Oceanic LLC.


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This work was funded by Caladan Oceanic LLC (US). We thank Victor Vescovo for piloting the submersible on this dive, and the captain, crew and company of the DSSV Pressure Drop for executing the whole operation. We also thank Dr. Deo Florence L. Onda from the Marine Science Institute at the University of the Philippines for his participation and assistance is obtaining permits.


This study was funded by the Caladan Oceanic LLC as part of the Ring of Fire Expedition 2021.

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Conceptualization, methodology and data collection: AJJ, formal analysis and investigation: AJJ and MV, writing of original draft preparation, review and editing: AJJ and MV.

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Correspondence to Alan J. Jamieson.

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Jamieson, A.J., Vecchione, M. Hadal cephalopods: first squid observation (Oegopsida, Magnapinnidae, Magnapinna sp.) and new records of finned octopods (Cirrata) at depths > 6000 m in the Philippine Trench. Mar Biol 169, 11 (2022).

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  • Bigfin squid
  • Dumbo
  • Cirrate
  • Octopoda
  • Hadal zone
  • Subduction trench
  • Pacific Ocean