posted on Jul, 15 2009 @ 08:43 AM
A squid's balance organ is the statocyst
; somewhat similar to our ear's balance organ, it uses
hairs and fluids to detect changes in inertia. I imagine distortions would work roughly the same way; we can get ourselves dizzy when we spin around
too much or erratically, maybe the squid got tossed around during the earthquake. Where we have an extensive brain to tell us not to listen to our
nauseous balance organ and just sit down for a second, squids supposedly blindly follow their organ as they have no parts in their brain to
'reroute' these activities. As long as the statocyst has not returned to it's normal functioning status, the squid would be an unguided projectile.
In addition, squids seem to have two different measurements of angular acceleration, for slow and fast accelerations.
The problem with these organs is that they cannot discern between internal and external causes - did the world spin or did I? - and this failure to
discern is mirrored in the processing of these signals. For example, when a cat sleeps on a chair and you slowly start to rotate it, keep it up for a
minute and then suddenly stop, the cat will jump up thinking it suddenly started to move*. This works just as well with humans; even with our eyes
open, we feel a jolt that tells us to react in a certain way. Now imagine the squid getting tossed around by displacing earth/water, rapidly
accelerating and turning around by the different currents created by the shift of matter; sensitive for both low and high angular accelerations, and
not being able to relate it's accelerations to environmental changes; the squid's statocyst may have led it to swim right up to the beach.
A few minutes is quite long for our balance organ to regain normal functionality, I'm not sure how that translates to statocysts..
Whether it was an earthquake or something else, there had to be a lot of turmoil in the squid's home.. poor cephaloddy.
* No cats were harmed during the writing of this post.