The study of deep-sea cephalopods

Henk Jan T. Hoving, Jose Angel A. Perez, Kathrin S.R. Bolstad, Heather E. Braid, Aaron B. Evans, Dirk Fuchs, Heather Judkins, Jesse T. Kelly, José E.A.R. Marian, Ryuta Nakajima, Uwe Piatkowski, Amanda Reid, Michael Vecchione, José C.C. Xavier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

59 Scopus citations


"Deep-sea" cephalopods are here defined as cephalopods that spend a significant part of their life cycles outside the euphotic zone. In this chapter, the state of knowledge in several aspects of deep-sea cephalopod research are summarized, including information sources for these animals, diversity and general biogeography and life cycles, including reproduction. Recommendations are made for addressing some of the remaining knowledge deficiencies using a variety of traditional and more recently developed methods. The types of oceanic gear that are suitable for collecting cephalopod specimens and images are reviewed. Many groups of deep-sea cephalopods require taxonomic reviews, ideally based on both morphological and molecular characters. Museum collections play a vital role in these revisions, and novel (molecular) techniques may facilitate new use of old museum specimens. Fundamental life-cycle parameters remain unknown for many species; techniques developed for neritic species that could potentially be applied to deep-sea cephalopods are discussed. Reproductive tactics and strategies in deep-sea cephalopods are very diverse and call for comparative evolutionary and experimental studies, but even in the twenty-first century, mature individuals are still unknown for many species. New insights into diet and trophic position have begun to reveal a more diverse range of feeding strategies than the typically voracious predatory lifestyle known for many cephalopods. Regular standardized deep-sea cephalopod surveys are necessary to provide insight into temporal changes in oceanic cephalopod populations and to forecast, verify and monitor the impacts of global marine changes and human impacts on these populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Marine Biology
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages125
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameAdvances in Marine Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2881

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
H.J.T.H. was funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) through a Rubicon grant (#825.09.016), and by a grant (CP1218) of the Cluster of Excellence 80 “The Future Ocean,” which is funded within the framework of the Excellence Initiative by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) on behalf of the German federal and state governments. J. E. A. R. M. acknowledges funding provided by the São Paulo Research Foundation—FAPESP (grants # 2013/02653-1 and 2012/14140-6) and CNPq (grant # 477233/2013-9)—and the support of the Research Center for Marine Biodiversity (NP-BioMar). K. S. R. B., A. B. E., H. E. B. and J. T. K. received support from Auckland University of Technology, with J. T. K. additionally supported by the New Zealand Marine Sciences Society.


  • Biogeography
  • Cephalopoda
  • Collection methods
  • Deep sea
  • Diversity
  • Evolution
  • Longevity
  • Reproduction
  • Trophic ecology


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