Biggest squid ever caught may be a minnow...

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by Lucky13, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    by David Brooks
    37 minutes ago



    WELLINGTON (AFP) - The biggest squid ever caught, at up to 10 metres long and boasting a fearsome beak and razor-sharp hooks, may be small compared to others still lurking in the depths, scientists said Tuesday.


    The colossal squid has begun a two-day thaw at The Museum of New Zealand in Wellington before it is examined in more detail Wednesday by an international team of scientists.

    It weighs 495 kilograms (1,090 pounds), has eyes the size of dinner plates and is estimated at up to 10 metres (33 feet) long.

    But that may be relatively small, scientists say after initial examination, suggesting other colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) under the chilly Antarctic waters might grow much larger.

    On a museum blog following the progress of the thaw, Chris Paulin -- who is projects manager at the museum, known as Te Papa Tongarewa, said Tuesday that the beak of the colossal squid has been exposed as the flesh defrosts.

    The size of the lower beak -- used to chop prey into bite sized pieces -- is around 43 to 45 millimetres.

    Colossal squid lower beaks previously found in the stomachs of sperm whales have been as long as 49 millimetres.

    Extrapolating the relationship between the length of the beak and body size from another smaller specimen being examined suggests the species could grow much bigger, Paulin said.

    "Can we assume that this species reaches three quarters of a tonne in weight?" he asked.

    One of the scientists leading the examination, Auckland University of Technology squid expert Steve O'Shea, said it was difficult to say how much bigger the monster squid could grow.

    "What we know from that one measurement is that the beak of this animal from the stomachs of sperm whales are considerably larger," O'Shea told Radio New Zealand.

    "We make the leap to say the colossal squid grows considerably larger than the 495 kilogram one we are currently defrosting."

    O'Shea has previously described the colossal squid, which has razor-sharp swivelling hooks at the end of its tentacles, as "a nasty aggressive sort of squid... a gelatinous blob with seriously evil arms on it."

    If the new specimen was cut into squid rings, they would be size of tractor tyres, although they would taste like ammonia.

    The colossal squid was caught as it ate an Antarctic toothfish hooked on a fishing boat's long line in Antarctic waters in February last year.

    After being snap frozen, it was given to the museum, which has since been deciding the best way to defrost, examine and display it.

    Suggestions such as using a giant microwave to unfreeze it were discarded, and on Monday the squid was placed in a tank filled with cold salty water to ensure it defrosts slowly without decomposing.

    The squid is so large that there was a risk the outside flesh would start to rot before the inside had thawed.

    Defrosting is due to finish Wednesday when scientists will learn as much as they can before the squid is preserved in formalin to go on show in a massive tank at the museum later this year.

    The progress of the thawing is being shown live by webcams on the museum's website Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, NZ - Home.
     
  2. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Interesting, Lucky! can't see the vid's thanks to work IT security (...) but it must be bloody huge.

    Thanks for posting mate!
     
  3. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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  4. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Makes you wonder what DOES exist down in the oceans....I mean, we know more about the moon than we do about the Pacific, Indian or Atlantic ocean...
     
  5. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    True...they reckon about 90 % of the world's animal life is in the ocean...
     
  6. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    There is no telling what's down there. Sure would be cool to know, but someone would hunt it, pollute it, exploit it, skin it, market it, sell it, mine it, corrupt it, and clone it and ruin it for everyone.

    Best just to leave it alone!
     
  7. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Agreed Thor! ..Would still love to see them though...
     
  8. wilbur1

    wilbur1 Active Member

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    Man that sucker is BIG!!
     
  9. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    That's what girls say all the time to me....:oops: :lol:

    I agree, would be cool to know what's down there, but we'd most likely just destroy it, one way or another...:(
     
  10. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    'Moslem or christian,
    Mullah or pope.
    Preacher or poet,
    who was it wrote
    Give any species too much rope,
    and they'll f*ck it up'

    - Roger waters
     
  11. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I got to see a dead one once. It was only about 5 meters long but it still was a massive thing. I would hate to see a really big one!
     
  12. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    a hell of a lot of calimari, thats all i can say
     
  13. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    Especially if it was alive and you were in the ocean with it. :)

    TO
     
  14. hurricanemk2

    hurricanemk2 Member

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    Ooo thats a big bugger , I'd hate to see the one that got away .
     
  15. Henk

    Henk Active Member

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    I am so hungry right now, wish I got it, would be eating calamari rings for a very long time. I must go get my pay and get me some grub.
     
  16. Watanbe

    Watanbe Member

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    Id eat that! Dont display it, eat it yum!
     
  17. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Man. thats one big Mother.....:shock:
     
  18. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Speaking of Calimari.

    I had some good grilled Calimari today.
     
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