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Promachoteuthis Sulcus: A Squid with teeth?!

Updated on July 22, 2014

Real dentures, or something else?

Our seas are full of all kinds of strange, weird and mysterious creatures.Today's post is about a strange little critter that is scientifically known as Promachoteuthis sulcus. It's a newly discovered species of squid that still has no common name, so from now on we will call it P. Sulcus for short.

As you can see on the image down below, it seems like P. sulcus has a human-like mouth with an actual set of dentures! This is why some people call it the squid the human-like teeth. But are they really teeth? Or is it just a case of bad photography? Maybe Photoshop? Is it dangerous? Does it bite? All these questions will be answered later in the article!

By the way, Is it just me, or does it look a lot like the face-hugger from the Alien film franchise?

So, let's learn more about this bizarre animal:


This weird looking animal was discovered in 2007, after a single individual was caught in the open nets of a German research vessel called "Walther Herwig". The specimen was caught near the Tristan Da Cunha islands, at an approximate depth of about 2,000 m (6561.68 ft).

It was examined and photographed by Richard E. Young .

Species information

P. sulcus is a squid of the Promachoteuthidae family. All Promachoteuthids are small, and P. Sulcus is no exception as it has an estimated maximum length of 3 to 4 cm.

As of today, the 2007 specimen remains the only that researchers have managed to get their hands on. That specimen belonged to an immature female that was 2.5 cm (1 inch) long. As a result, we still have little knowledge about the species behavior, habits etc.

Like all squids, P. Sulcus has two large (relatively to its body) tentacles and eight arms. P. sulcus is distinguished from related taxa on the basis of several morphological features:

  • Nuchal fusion between the head and mantle
  • Arm suckers are way larger compared to club suckers
  • Greater width of tentacle base than arm base
  • A recessed club base
  • The presence of an aboral tentacle groove

P. sulcus also has a small beak, residing deep inside its mouth. The beak is used to cut and chew its prey and is not visible on the pictures that can be found over the internet.

Promachoteuthis Sulcus Ventrolateral View
Promachoteuthis Sulcus Ventrolateral View

Does it really have teeth?

Disappointingly, no it doesn't have dentures. What appears to be human-like dentures are in reality circular, folded lips. In the picture, only the upper and lower portions are visible.

Is it dangerous?

No, P. Sulcus poses no danger to humans. First, seeing one in person is highly unlikely, as it inhabits depths of more or less, 2.000 m (6560 ft) and deeper. And second, with a maximum size of less than 2 inches, there is little -if any- harm that it could do to you!

Some final words

I would really like to write more about this weird creature but the article already contains all the information that is currently available about it! As I said, we still know very few things about it!

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