The mystery behind the mass suicide of these Humboldt squid is easy to explain, as ocean acidification in the Pacific has decreased oxygen levels, and the water is quite a bit warmer than they can endure, so they get exhausted and then die.
The beached Humboldt squid were said to be juveniles, and were not full grown. Full-grown Humboldt squid are normally 3 to 4 times as big as the ones that had washed to shore on Sunday.
The California Department of Fish and wildlife had no immediate answer to the squid washing ashore, as this was a yearly reaction to the squid migrating north in the Humboldt current of the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
Humboldt squid have been washing ashore in the area of central California for the last 20 years, and the birds seem to know that it would happen. All manner of avian have assembled themselves along the shores for what might be considered a seafood buffet of sorts.
In an interview with the Monterey Herald, William Gilly, a biology professor at Stanford University, said that the mass strandings are frequent when the Humboldt squid begin to occupy a new area of coastline. Paragraph “my theory is that when the squid invade a new area… They are returning to Monterey Bay for the first time in nearly 3 years, and the squid are only eight or nine months old… They follow and algorithm which is to swim and find productive areas, especially by investigating anomalies, until you run into trouble.” He told the Monterey Herald. “That mission take some of them onto the beach. The question I can answer is why they stopped doing this after they successfully colonize an area. Perhaps the real pioneers are selected out, or maybe the survivors of a stranding go back to see and warn the others.”
Please view the video I have assembled here for further information about the Humboldt Squid.
Article by Jim Donahue