/skwid/, n.
superconducting quantum interference device: a device that senses minute changes in magnetic fields, used to indicate neural activity in the brain.

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Any of nearly 400 species of 10-armed cephalopods, found in both coastal and oceanic waters, that prey on fishes and crustaceans.

They range from less than 0.75 in. (1.5 cm) to more than 65 ft (20 m) long (in the case of the giant squid). Two of the 10 arms are long, slender tentacles; each has an expanded end and four rows of suckers with toothed, hard-edged rings. An internal shell supports the slender tubular body of most species. Squid eyes, almost as complex as human eyes, are usually set into the sides of the head. Squids may be swift swimmers (propelling themselves by contracting and relaxing their mantle or by undulating their two fins) or mere drifters; water expelled from a funnel below the head can propel the squid backward. Like the octopus, the squid may emit an inky cloud from its ink sac when in danger from sperm whales, fishes, or humans, among other predators.

Squid (Illex coindeti) swimming forward

Douglas P. Wilson

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▪ cephalopod order
 any of numerous 10-armed cephalopods (order Teuthoidea) found in both coastal and oceanic waters. Squids may be swift swimmers or part of the drifting sea life. They range in size from about 1.5 centimetres (less than 3/4 inch) to more than 20 metres (more than 65 feet), including the tentacles.

      Squids have elongated tubular bodies and short compact heads. Two of the 10 arms have developed into long slender tentacles with expanded ends and four rows of suckers with toothed, horny rings. The body of most squids is strengthened by a feathery-shaped, internal shell composed of a horny material. Squid eyes, almost as complex as human eyes, are usually set into the sides of the head.

      Little is known of the life history of squids. Some attach their eggs to floating weeds and others to the ocean bottom. In some species the young resemble the adults at hatching; in others there is a planktonic larval stage.

      The luminescent squids bear numerous light organs, which may be for recognition and for attracting prey.

      Squids are numerous in the sea and serve as food for many animals, including the sperm whale, bony fishes, and man.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • squid — [skwid] n. pl. squids or squid [prob. < squit, dial. for SQUIRT] any of a number of long, slender, carnivorous cephalopod sea mollusks (esp. order Teuthoidea) having eight arms and two long tentacles: small squid are used as food and for fish… …   English World dictionary

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  • squid — squid·der; squid; SQUID; …   English syllables

  • squid — [skwıd] n plural squid or squids a sea creature with a long soft body and ten arms around its mouth …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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  • squid — [ skwıd ] noun count a sea animal like an OCTOPUS but with ten arms instead of eight a. uncount this animal eaten as food …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • squid — marine mollusk, 1610s, of unknown origin; perhaps a sailors variant of SQUIRT (Cf. squirt), so called for the ink it squirts out …   Etymology dictionary

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