11 May 2015

Ocean Giants: Colossal Squid

Who here have watched the movie "Clash of the Titans"? Remember the scene when Zeus shouted "Release the Kraken!" to his men? Kraken actually refers to a squid-like sea monster and among the family of squids, there are two known largest species. First is the heaviest - the colossal squid Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni commonly found in the Antartic.

The short clip above presents the largest specimen ever caught, it weighed 495 kg and measured 4.2 m in length [1]; but the measurements stated are underrated. Experiments conducted by the Te Papa staff from the Museum of New Zealand showed that fresh specimens can shrink up to 22% when preserved and the specimen above was believed to have shrunk by 14%. Unfortunately, only 9 adult specimens have been recorded and were not enough to fully study their biology [2]. Thus, if you have other information on them, which you wish to include in our information system, please e-mail us at sealifebase@fin.ph or join us as a collaborator.

[1] McClain CR et al (2015) Sizing ocean giants: patterns of intraspecific size variation in marine megafauna. PeerJ 2:e715. Accessed from https://peerj.com/articles/715/
[2] The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. The Squid Files. Accessed from http://squid.tepapa.govt.nz/the-squid-files

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