Cephalopod Fin Length

Richard E. Young, Michael Vecchione, and Katharina M. Mangold (1922-2003)

Cephalopoda Glossary

Fins of decapodiforms very greatly in both length and width. Fin lengths range from over 100% of the ML to less than 10% of the ML. We arbitrarily define «long» fins as more than 75% of the ML and «short» fins as less than 25% of the ML. In the figure below, "A" has short fins and the others have long fins. Most squids have fins of intermediate size. Some squids (not shown) have fins posterior to the muscular mantle.

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Figure. Dorsal views of fins and mantles.  ABathothauma lyromma (Fam. Cranchiidae), modified from Chun, 1910. B - Iridoteuthis iris (Fam. Sepiolidae), modified from Naef, 1921-23. C - Discoteuthis laciniosa (Fam. Cycloteuthidae), modified from Young and Roper, 1969. D - Sepia orbignyana (Fam. Sepiidae), modified from Naef, 1921-23. All views are dorsal.


Chun, C. 1910. Die Cephalopoden. Oegopsida. Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der Deutschen Tiefsee Expedition auf dem Dampfer "Valdivia" 1898-1899, 18(1):1-401.

Naef, A. 1921-1923. Die Cephalopoden. Fauna e Flora del Golfo di Napoli, Monographie 35, Vol I, Parts I and II, Systematik, pp 1-863.

Young, R. E. and C. F. E. Roper (1969). A monograph of the Cephalopoda of the North Atlantic: The family Cycloteuthidae. Smithson. Contr. Zool., No. 5: 1-24.

About This Page

University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA

National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D. C. , USA

Katharina M. Mangold (1922-2003)
Laboratoire Arago, Banyuls-Sur-Mer, France

Page: Tree of Life Cephalopod Fin Length Authored by Richard E. Young, Michael Vecchione, and Katharina M. Mangold (1922-2003). The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

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