GREEN
04/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Vampire Squid Threatened By Human Activity (VIDEO)

The vampire squid is one of many unheard of creatures living in the deep sea. The species, which is technically not a squid, but a cephalopod, had been living fairly anonymously since it first appeared 300 million years ago, even before dinosaurs existed, according to National Geographic. Only now is it getting more attention because its existence could be threatened by human activities, according to a report by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

The vampire squid has a unique ability to turn itself inside out when it feels vulnerable to predators. This skill, however, will not protect it against the dangers of human activity:

"They are threatened by ocean warming, decreasing oxygen, pollution, overfishing, industrialization, and dozens of other changes taking place in the deep," said Bruce Robison, of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. "We have a responsibility to learn all we can about these amazing animals and to protect them from the greatest danger to life in the deep-- the human species."

SEE the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute's video of the vampire squid in its habitat:

For more National Geographic videos, click here.