What do squids eat?

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “what do squids eat?” We will also discuss what is the diet of squid and what types of squid are there.

What do squids eat?

Squids are intelligent hunters that feed on other ocean creatures, they are referred to as opportunistic feeders. Squids have a carnivore diet, and they mainly eat

  • Fish.
  • Crustaceans, like lobsters, clams, and mussels.
  • Shrimps.
  • Oysters.
  • Algae.
  • Plankton.
  • Small plants. 
  • Other small squids.

Squids will use their tentacles to catch other animals, the prey will be caught in the sharp suckers located in their tentacular clubs. They will hold the animal captive until they move it toward their mouth.

These animals have such a big appetite that increases whenever they start to grow. An interesting fact about these animals is that they have cannibalistic tendencies, as you could have guessed.

How do squids hunt and eat?

Now that we have discussed what squids eat, let’s check how they eat their prey. First of all, squids are provided with various tentacles with sharp rings that help them catch their prey quite easily, this is because these rings cause a tight grip using suction.

They are great hunters that use their texture to hide from their prey and catch them easily. Once they have caught them, they will tear them apart and eat them while they are still alive.

Squids are provided with a sharp tongue that will help them move their food down the throat until it reaches their stomach. Once they have completed the processing in the squid’s stomach, then the remainder will be moved to the liver where it will be processed to produce energy.

When squids get enough nutrients, they will grow rapidly! They will always be looking for places where they can find food easily. 

Do squids eat a lot?

Depending on the size of squids, the rate of food consumption will also vary. Squids come in different sizes, the bigger it is, the bigger the amount of food they will consume. Normally, squids eat about 30% of their total body weight.

As we have discussed above, according to how much they eat, their size will increase rapidly or at a lower rate. Imagine that if they get enough nutrients, they will increase their size by about 10% to 15% per day during the first half of their life cycle!

Can other animals eat squid?

Yes, even though squids are fierce predators, some bigger predators will feed on them. Some of the predators that can eat squids are

  • Birds.
  • Bigger squids (yes, they have cannibalistic tendencies).
  • Sharks.
  • Whales.
  • Humans.

Do not think that squids are easy prey, they can escape fast and thanks to the features of their skin, they can change their color to camouflage with their surroundings, this feature will also help them to catch their prey.

Can squid change color?

Yes, squids can change color. This is a feature that some other species have, like octopuses and cuttlefishes. Squids change color when they feel threatened so they can camouflage with their surroundings.

The reason that causes squids to change color is that they have a certain type of cell, called chromatophores which are found under their skin. These cells contain an elastic sac full of pigment that can have a black, brown, red, or yellow tone.

When the squid feels threatened, an array of nerves and muscles will activate the sac, which will cause it to expand and make the color more visible. If you want to watch how these chromatophores work, make sure you check this video.   

As impressive as it sounds, squids can also change their skin texture to match rocks, corals, or whatever their surroundings have. If you want to get further guidance on this subject, please click here.

Can squids eat people?

Although giant squids can eat people, this is not a common thing for them. There has never been a single case that supports the theory of squids eating people.

Squids do not come to areas where humans can be found, they are really scared of people and prefer to hide rather than attack us. If a squid is caught, it will spray water and ink before attacking or eating humans.

However, the Humboldt squid is naturally aggressive and it has attacked humans several times as they live near the surface of the sea. This type of squid can cause severe wounds to the victims.

Giant squids should not be feared as they do not have aggressive tendencies, the only way for them to eat human meat is when the body has sunk in the deep ocean.


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “what do squids eat?” We have also discussed what is the common diet for squids and other queries related to the subject at hand.

Hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.


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