Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Biology Open






9 pp.


Throughout their lives, squids are both predators and prey for a multitude of animals, many of which are at the top of ocean food webs, making them an integral component of the trophic structure of marine ecosystems. The escape jet, which is produced by the rapid expulsion of water from the mantle cavity through a funnel, is central to a cephalopod's ability to avoid predation throughout its life. Although squid undergo morphological and behavioral changes and experience remarkably different Reynolds number regimes throughout their development, little is known about the dynamics and propulsive efficiency of escape jets throughout ontogeny. We examine the hydrodynamics and kinematics of escape jets in squid throughout ontogeny using 2D/3D velocimetry and high-speed videography. All life stages of squid produced two escape jet patterns: (1) escape jet I characterized by short rapid pulses resulting in vortex ring formation and (2) escape jet II characterized by long high-volume jets, often with a leading-edge vortex ring. Paralarvae exhibited higher propulsive efficiency than adult squid during escape jet ejection, and propulsive efficiency was higher for escape jet I than escape jet II in adults. These results indicate that although squid undergo major ecological transitions and morphology changes from paralarvae to adults, all life stages demonstrate flexibility in escape jet responses and produce escape jets of surprisingly high propulsive efficiency.


This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided that the original work is properly attributed.

Original Publication Citation

York, C. A., Bartol, I. K., Krueger, P. S., & Thompson, J. T. (2020). Squids use multiple escape jet patterns throughout ontogeny. Biology Open, 9(11), 9 pp., Article bio054585.