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Early on there are descriptions of the "vampire squid," which sounds terrifying and, in photos, looks even more bizarre than most squid - but which is in fact a very small species and not at all as sinister as its name suggests. And even the giant squid turns out to be less of a kaiju than one might think; the largest ones could do damage to individual swimmers and possibly to small boats, but they're deep-ocean dwellers and only come to the surface rarely (and usually against their will, via trawlers' nets or in the jaws of sperm whales).
The Humboldt squid, now - they get pretty large (over 4 feet in length at the mantle, not including tentacles) and move in large groups, and are very, very predatory. Indeed, they featured in a pretty good deadly-creatures novel, Below by Ryan Lockwood - though in real life they're more of a threat to other sea creatures than to people. And they have their own unusual physical properties: their spermatophores can survive not only the death of the host but years of freezing, only to unwind and wriggle in an attempt to find eggs... the section on this is delightfully bizarre!
The author also shows how the public image of squid and octopus has shifted over time, with a better awareness of their intelligence, problem-solving abilities, color-signalling language, and more.
See also Sy Montgomerey's Soul of an Octopus.
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