How the Squid Lost Its Shell

  • Published on: 17 April 2018
  • Viewers like you help make PBS (Thank you 😃) . Support your local PBS Member Station here:

    The ancestors of modern, squishy cephalopods like the octopus and the squid all had shells. In ancient times, their shell was their greatest asset but it eventually proved to be their biggest weakness.

    Special thanks to Franz Anthony for the beautiful cephalopod reconstructions. You can see more of Franz's tremendous work at

    And thanks as always to Nobumichi Tamura for allowing us to use his wonderful paleoart:

    Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios:

    Want to follow Eons elsewhere on the internet?
    Facebook -
    Twitter -
    Instagram -

    Squid Empire by Danna Staaf:
  • Runtime : 8:32
  • dinosaurs dinos paleo paleontology scishow eons pbs pbs digital studios hank green john green complexly fossils natural history cephalopods octopus squid cuttlefish shell gladius molluscs coleoid nautilus septa siphuncle phragmocone Sphooceras Plectronoceras ammonites mantle


  • John Hoover
    John Hoover   3 days ago

    I wanna learn about sasquatch in its natural habitat,"go on a small expedition with Tod standing"

  • drcovell
    drcovell   1 weeks ago

    Use the correct plural form for octopus (octopi).

  • Yiel Uriel Fabular
    Yiel Uriel Fabular   1 weeks ago

    from being tank tentacular into camouflaging assassin. (my opinion)

  • Jeff Umbach
    Jeff Umbach   1 weeks ago

    6:32 is it just me or do those cuttlefish look awfully judgmental.

  • Predator v Predator
    Predator v Predator   1 weeks ago

    I know, I know , One day the squid went in the mall to buy something, while swimming around he found a nice juicy little fish stick and decide to eat it, after he ate it, he dicided to buy another, than another, to the point he got really stuffed, so he decided to remove his shell and carry it home so that when his stuffed belly went down he could put his shell back on.However, on the way home he started to feel some intestinal discomfort and had to go to take a dump, you see, diarrhea attacks the most unsuspecting of victims at any time , so our hero rushed to find a port a potty.After some agonizing minutes he emerged from the stinking hole from hell in summer time and went on his merry way, only when he made it home he realized that he had left his shell in the port a potty, by the time he made it back there, there was no shell to be found, some other creature had found it and taken it home.And that is how the squid lost his shell. Way more plausible than the theory of evolution. Tha tha.

  • Ryan Aggabao
    Ryan Aggabao   1 weeks ago

    Wouldn't "nautili" work just as well as "nautiluses"?

  • The Don
    The Don   2 weeks ago

    if they were super genius and ate the right diet and get full of gas and float IN THE AIR!

  • James W
    James W   2 weeks ago

    Anyone else see the thumbnail and think of Hill Top Zone from Sonic 2?

  • SaruCharmed
    SaruCharmed   3 weeks ago

    But I imagine there are not many cases of the soft tissue of cephalopods being preserved. So how do scientists know that ALL their ancestors had shells? I mean, you can never prove the non-existence of something, right?

  • Yvng. Vo
    Yvng. Vo   3 weeks ago

    00:29 “octopuses” 🤦🏻‍♀️ thought it was octopi...

  • Alberad08
    Alberad08   3 weeks ago

    Isn't that 'snails became buoyant' hypothesis outdated by now, since the oldest ever cephalopod we came to know of (Nectocaris) had no shell?

  • Gertrud Bondesson
    Gertrud Bondesson   3 weeks ago

    For some reason all staircases in public buildings in Sweden are made of stone filled with those kind of old squid shells.

  • I t
    I t   3 weeks ago

    Excellent video

  • Mai Aydinan
    Mai Aydinan   3 weeks ago

    Hello. I'm a Filipino, and we recently had a vaccination scare possibly due to one unsafe vaccine (dengvaxia) and the proliferation of wrong info. It would be wonderful if you could make something that can be used to explain all of this to regular people.

  • Cat Santos
    Cat Santos   4 weeks ago

    U ain’t foolin me! Omanyte & Omastar r still around & plentiful

  • Robert Maule
    Robert Maule   4 weeks ago

    Nice theory but in the end it’s just that a theory.

  • Symphuzic Bey
    Symphuzic Bey   1 months ago

    The squid had something to loose and the turtles had something to gain.

  • RBEO22
    RBEO22   1 months ago

    All hail Lord Helix.

  • Alejandro Garcia
    Alejandro Garcia   1 months ago

    Hi. Could you please make a video about the Pollinating Bees ? Thanks

  • Hulagan 808
    Hulagan 808   1 months ago

    Why are there no freshwater cephalopods though?

  • Aus Animal Care
    Aus Animal Care   1 months ago

    i really enjoyed that. sephlapods are my favorite animals.

  • Haunt Coaster
    Haunt Coaster   1 months ago

    Me making gas: Everyone running wayCeplipod: Flying through the ocean

  • Dennis Bihis
    Dennis Bihis   1 months ago

    Once upon a time a mollusk farted and floated...

  • C17 ByKenshi
    C17 ByKenshi   1 months ago

    2:40 ,,hmm yeah I think i‘ll get a Cthulhu Icecream“