Vampire squid, which sport a Count Dracula cloak-like dark web, turn out to be living fossils that feast on poo and other marine waste enveloped in globs of mucus.
The scientific name for this unusual cephalopod is Vampyroteuthis infernalis, which translates to "vampire squid from Hell." This sole species of the Order Vampyromorpha lives between 2,000 to 3,000 feet below the ocean surface in waters with very low levels of oxygen.
Living fossils are animals that have been on Earth for ages, surviving all major extinction events and not seeming to change very much over millions of years. The eclectic diet of the vampire squid, described in a paper published in the latest Proceedings of the Royal Society B, likely hasn't changed much either.
The squid eats "the dead bodies of crustaceans, moults (shedded outer layers) of crustaceans, fecal pellets of zooplankton, parts of gelatinous organisms like the discarded mucus houses of larvaceans, fish scales, foraminifera (single celled marine organisms), pieces of jellyfish and salps, eggs, micro algae, radiolarians (another type of singe celled aquatic animal)," and other marine waste, according to co-author Henk-Jan Hoving, a postdoctoral fellow at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.