Largest squid

By | 2017-10-11T02:46:34+00:00 May 18, 2017|Biology, Records|

Largest squid

Last updated: October 11, 2017 at 2:46 am

Colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni), a.k.a. Antarctic cranch squid – The colossal squid may reach a length of 18 m (60 ft). However, a study published in January 2015 (McClain CR et al.) suggests a shorter length of 12 m (40 ft) for even the largest of squids. Its eyes are over 30.5 cm (12 in.) in diameter. It swims to depths of 2,000 m (6,562 ft) in the Southern Ocean from Antarctica to South America, South Africa, and New Zealand. It feeds on fish and other squid. Large specimens of colossal squid are preyed upon by the sperm whale and sleeper sharks. In February 2007, a colossal squid weighing an estimated 450 kg (990 lbs), and measuring about 10 m (33 ft) long, was caught by a New Zealand fishing vessel, the San Aspiring, owned by Sanford Ltd, which was fishing for Antarctic toothfish in the Ross Sea. Only a handful of colossal squid have been sighted. It is believed that colossal squid hunt large fish, such as toothfish, and other squid. Giant squid are represented by at least eight species of the genus Architeuthis. They are believed to reach a length of 10 m (33 ft) for males and 13 m (43 ft) for females, including the two tentacles. A 17 m (56 ft) giant squid was reported washed ashore in Glover’s Harbour, Newfoundland, on November 2, 1878. There are unverified reports of specimens measuring up to 20 m (66 ft).

In September 2005, Japanese researchers produced the first images ever recorded of a live giant squid in its natural habitat. In December 2006, the same team filmed and captured a small specimen on a baited hook at a depth of 650 m (2,150 ft). The small squid then attracted a giant squid which was hooked as it tried to feed on the smaller squid. The relatively small female 3.5 m (11 ft 6 in) long and weighing 50 kg (110 lb is now preserved by the National Science Museum in Tokyo .

SOURCE:
McClain CR, Balk MA, Benfield MC, Branch TA, Chen C, Cosgrove J, Dove ADM, Gaskins LC, Helm RR, Hochberg FG, Lee FB, Marshall A, McMurray SE, Schanche C, Stone SN, Thaler AD. (2015Sizing ocean giants: patterns of intraspecific size variation in marine megafaunaPeerJ 3:e715 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.715

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Jeffrey Gallant is the Editor-in-Chief and Records Keeper of the Diving Almanac. He is also a contributing editor of DIVER Magazine, and the scientific director of the Greenland Shark and Elasmobranch Education and Research Group (GEERG). Jeffrey started diving in 1982.

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