A Google Image search for "cute squid" returns, amidst the cartoons and handmade objects, numerous photographs of real animals:
- 1 baby octopus (cute, but not a squid)
- 1 dumbo octopus (cute, and it does have fins, which one usually associates with squid, but dumbos actually belong to a whole group of midwater octopuses that do have fins--so, still not a squid)
- 2 reef squid (the fin undulating along the entire length of their bodies would usually tag them as cuttlefish, but I think these are actually in the squid genus Sepioidea, the "cuttlefish mimics")
- 2 piglet squid (squee! nuff said.)
And finally, the winner in two categories: first search hit and most first-page mentions (4):
THE BOBTAIL SQUID
But . . . does it count? Is it really a squid? Taxonomically speaking, it is a sepiolid. Sepiolida is an Order within the Class Cephalopoda, on the same footing as Orders Teuthida (squid) and Sepiida (cuttlefish). Evolutionarily speaking, sepiolids are thought to be much more closely related to cuttlefish than to squid.
Colloquially speaking, sepiolids are known as bobtail squid, stubby squid, or dumpling squid. (!!) The word "squid" is in all of their common names. So . . . is a sepiolid the world's cutest squid?
I think we all have to answer this question for ourselves.
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