Ken Baltz shows off a Humboldt squid's tentacle at the 2011 Bay Area Science Festival. Photo by Kaye Storm.

Dr. Eric Hochberg shows off a Humboldt squid's beak at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Photo by Adel Hochberg.

Teaching Materials

For Dissections

Humboldt Squid Anatomy

Labeled photographs of the external and internal anatomy of a Humboldt squid, with additional photos of the eyes, beak, pen, and sucker rings.

Dissection Guide

Step-by-step protocol for the dissection of a Humboldt squid, including a guide to male and female maturity stages.

Lesson Plan

An example lesson plan from Rob Yeomans at Newburyport High School, with notes from the Squids4Kids team.

How To Stretch A Squid

Tips for getting the most educational bang out of a single squid, by using it for multiple classes or days.

Educational Videos

Film can be a great introduction to squid. The Discovery Channel's two Humboldt squid shows, Squid Invasion and Killer Squid, can be purchased or checked out from the library. Some shorter videos are available online--three about Humboldt squid and one about iridescence in squid in general:

The Fierce Humboldt Squid
(KQED Quest)

Invasion of the Squids
(CBS News)

Fishing for the Humboldt Squid
(National Park Service: Point Reyes)

Squid Iridescence


These short essays discuss different aspects of squid science. In some cases, as in Ecology and Neuroscience, they include a guide to more detailed dissection of the squid. These documents could be assigned as student readings or used by the teacher to develop an original lesson plan. Let us know if you have any feedback or would like to see other topics here.


A closer look at the amazing brains of Humboldt squid.


How Humboldt squid deal with predators, prey, and more.


How Humboldt squid make more Humboldt squid.

Climate Change

Recent movements of Humboldt squid may be driven by environmental changes.


Humboldt squid are the biggest invertebrate fishery in the world.

Don't Worry

An answer to the common question: are Humboldt squid dangerous?

Why Dissect?

A consideration of the ethical and educational impact of dissection.

Science and Art

Art projects that you can do with Humboldt squid.

Print made with a real Humboldt squid for Earth Day, SF Center for the Book, San Francisco, CA. Photo by Maggie Engebretson.

Julie Stewart and Patrick Daniel with North Monterey County High School in Castroville, CA. Photo by Brenda Dodson.

Dr. Danna Staaf with the Sempervirens Outdoor School in Santa Cruz, CA. Photo by Leah Shulman.