#44: Squid Smarts
With their fascinating anatomical features, squids exhibit a unique brain structure in some species that sets them apart from other creatures of the sea. These squids possess a doughnut-shaped or toroid brain, with their esophagus passing directly through its central opening. This adaptation presents both advantages and risks. While the toroid shape allows for efficient routing of neural signals and supports their complex behaviors, it also poses a potential hazard.
Squids are voracious predators, and if they happen to ingest prey that is too large, it can lead to brain damage or injury as the esophagus stretches and puts pressure on the delicate neural tissue. This remarkable feature emphasizes the evolutionary trade-offs that have occurred in the quest for survival beneath the waves.