Fun Cockatoo Squid Facts Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Nov 07, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Nov 04, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat
Cockatoo squid facts talk about this mystical aquatic animal in detail.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.5 Min

Do you like reading about squids like colossal squid? Cockatoo squid (Taonius borealis) also known as glass squid, cranchiid, cranch squid, or bathyscaphoid squid is a luminous marine animal that inhabits the deep sea.

Found living near the seafloor of the North Pacific Ocean, this squid is popular for its nearly transparent body. Despite its ability to camouflage with ease, the animal often falls prey to larger predators like whales and sharks.

It has a fluid-filled chamber that contains ammonia which gives the species a balloon-like shape that helps the animal maintain buoyancy even deep underwater.

It is unfortunate that the squid has a rather short life because it is a treat to watch this glittering squid fluttering around in the dark waters of the ocean. They are currently listed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List.

If you want to keep learning, do check out some interesting facts and information about the firefly squid and flame jellyfish.

Cockatoo Squid Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a cockatoo squid?

The marine animal is a species of squid. Its scientific name is Taonius borealis and it belongs to the family Cranchiidae and genus Taonius.

What class of animal does a cockatoo squid belong to?

This squid belongs to the Cephalopoda class of animals.

How many cockatoo squids are there in the world?

The population of the glass squid is unrecorded. Since the animal prefers to inhabit the deep sea, it is hard to keep track of the number of mature or young individuals that lurks at the bottom of the ocean.

Where does a cockatoo squid live?

This aquatic animal can be most commonly found living in the North Pacific Ocean.

What is a cockatoo squid's habitat?

The glass squid is a deep-sea animal that can be found living near the seafloor. The hatchlings or younger squids like to stick to the surface of the ocean at first but as they mature and grow into adults they travel to the sea bed.

Cockatoo squids like to stay afloat at 2900 ft (900 m) under the sea but some may even be found at a depth of 5000 ft (1600 m).

Who do cockatoo squids live with?

Squids as a species can live independently as well as in schooling. Although not much is known about the company the cockatoo squid keeps, they are usually spotted alone.

How long does a cockatoo squid live?

The lifespan of this aquatic animal is rather short. They usually live only for a couple of years and perish after reproduction.

How do they reproduce?

When the female of this species is about to lay her eggs, it becomes visible since their body is nearly transparent. The squid deposits approximately 700 eggs on rocks and plants at the bottom of the ocean. The eggs are quick to hatch and the baby squids or hatchlings are very fast to grow and mature within no time.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the cockatoo squid is evaluated as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. 

Cockatoo Squid Fun Facts

What does cockatoo squid look like?

Cockatoo squids are eye-catching bioluminescent aquatic animals.We've been unable to source an image of a cockatoo squid and have used an image of a Cranchiidae family squid instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a cockatoo squid, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

It has a balloon-shaped body translucent body that glimmers in the dark. The internal organs of the squid are clearly visible especially the nucleus and the digestive gland.

Its mantle shape is 18 in (45 cm) in length and its full size including its arms and tentacles is 20 in (50 cm). Each arm has two suckers per row.

The tentacles of the animal are at the top of its head and rather plum-like in nature. Its eyes aligned with the tentacles quite resembles the crest of the bird cockatoo wherefrom it gets its name.

They can use their large and googly eyes to look directly as well as laterally. It uses its color-changing cells chromatophores to give its body a red or purple color and spots.

How cute are they?

Just like jellyfish, cockatoo squids are extremely cute and adorable to look at. This mysterious aquatic animal is quite flashy so if its glimmering translucent body doesn't impress you, its luminescent red hue and spots will surely catch your interest. Their googly eyes and cockatoo resembling crest is definitely a bonus. 

How do they communicate?

Although the glass squid prefers to lead a solitary life, they may need to send some essential messages to others of their species from time to time. Like other squids, the glass squid too uses bioluminescence to communicate. Whenever they feel the need to relay any information, they make their bodies glow with the help of color-changing chromatophores.

How big is a cockatoo squid?

This species of glass squid is 20 in (50 cm) in length. It is much bigger in comparison to the vampire squid.

How fast can a cockatoo squid move?

This species of glass squid is rather active. The animal typically inhabits the deep sea but they go deeper still as they age. They are fast swimmers but spend a good deal of their time simply floating in the water. The ammonia content in its body helps the squid stay buoyant.

How much does a cockatoo squid weigh?

The weight of cockatoo squid is yet to be ascertained. But based on its size one may assume that the animal is lightweight.

What are the male and female names of the species?

No specific name has been assigned to the males and females of the species. They are simply referred to as male and female cockatoo squid.

What would you call a baby cockatoo squid?

The baby cockatoo squid is called a hatchling.

What do they eat?

The glass squid is carnivorous by nature and prefers to feed on shrimps, small fishes, and smaller squids. The animal is a natural hunter and its transparent body helps it to attack unsuspecting marine animals. They can also survive on plankton if they cannot catch suitable prey.

Are they poisonous?

There are some squids that can prove to be extremely dangerous or poisonous to humans but the cockatoo or glass squid isn't one of them.

Would they make a good pet?

It would definitely be quite fascinating to have the luminous squid swimming about in our tanks but unfortunately, they would probably not survive very long in such an atmosphere. The deep-sea animal is adapted to the ocean and will most likely find it impossible to lead its life in a shallow aquarium.

The species is best left alone in its natural habitat or a sanctuary.

Did you know...

Glass squids swallow water to inflate their body and make themselves appear dangerous to predators.

If they did not have the ability to illuminate themselves, it would be impossible to observe them in the darkness of the underwater.

Are cockatoo squids rare?

cockatoo squids are not exactly rare but they can be rather hard to spot since they prefer to live at the bottom of the sea. The species can be found in the North Pacific Ocean and was even spotted in the Gulf of Alaska.

And since the International Union for Conservation of Nature states the conservation of the translucent cockatoo squid is Least Concern, it would be safe to assume that the animal is not as rare as one would believe.

Why is a cockatoo squid called a glass squid?

It is called a glass squid because of its translucent or near-transparent body. At a glance, an observer might feel that the body of the squid is made up of glass. As the body glimmers and shimmers in the deep sea, the inner entrails of the squid is clearly visible.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other cephalopods from our coconut octopus facts and giant squid facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable giant squid coloring pages.

We've been unable to source an image of a cockatoo squid and have used an image of a Cranchiidae family squid instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a cockatoo squid, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali Rawat picture

Sonali RawatBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali has a Bachelor's degree in English literature from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and is currently pursuing a Master's in English and Communication from Christ University. With considerable experience in writing about lifestyle topics, including travel and health, she has a passion for Japanese culture, especially fashion, and anime, and has written on the subject before. Sonali has event managed a creative-writing festival and coordinated a student magazine at her university. Her favorite authors are Toni Morrison and Anita Desai.

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