squirt

sea squirt

Any tunicate in the class Ascidiacea; found in seas worldwide. Resembling potatoes more than animals, they are permanently fixed to a surface. A forceful contraction of the adult's vaselike body shoots a jet of seawater when it is disturbed. They filter-feed near the shore on debris from dead plants and animals and, in deeper water, on plankton. Adults, from less than 1 in. to 1 ft (2–30 cm) long, have functional male and female reproductive organs. The free-swimming, tadpolelike larvae hatch from eggs shed by one individual and fertilized by another. Some species live individually, others in colonies.

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Squirt is a caffeine-free citrus-flavored soft drink created in 1938 by Herb Bishop. Bishop created a new carbonated drink that required less fruit and less sugar. In Bishop’s opinion, it was the freshest, most exciting taste in the marketplace. Bishop gave Squirt its name because the drink seemed to "squirt" into your mouth like a freshly squeezed grapefruit. Squirt is naturally flavored and contains grapefruit juice (less than 1%). Another version, Ruby-Red Squirt, which is a citrus-berry flavor and contains caffeine, was created in 1993 with the help of Squirt Chemist Roy D. Hugh, who also pioneered the use of aspartame in soft drinks in the United States.

A Diet Squirt was also introduced. Diet Squirt is similar to Fresca. In 1983, Diet Squirt became the first soft drink in the United States to be sweetened with aspartame. Diet Squirt is carbonated with a white tint to it. A vitamin-C-enriched Diet Squirt Plus was briefly marketed in the mid 1980s.

Ownership of the Squirt brand has changed hands several times and is currently owned by the British Cadbury Schweppes. In the United States the brand is produced under the authority of Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc.

In 2008, a new brand called Squirt Citrus Power was introduced. Unlike regular Squirt, Squirt Citrus Power is caffeinated, and not flavored with concentrated grapefruit juice. It also features taurine and other ingredients similar to an energy drink.

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