Giant squid captured!
December 22, 2006
Japanese researchers captured a small female giant squid near the Ogasawara islands, 1,000 km (620 miles) south of Tokyo. The squid, which measured 3.5 meters (11 ft 6 in) long and weighed 50 kg (110 lb), was hooked at a depth of 650 meters (2,150 ft). The capture comes a year after researchers produced the first photographs and video of living squid.
Tsunemi Kubodera, chief of Division of Invertebrate Zoology at the National Science Museum of Japan, with the captured Giant Squid on a boat off Ogasawara Islands, Japan, on December 4, 2006. Image courtesy of the National Science Museum of Japan.
The researchers found the squid by tracking sperm whales — the chief known predator of the squid — to their feeding grounds.
Giant squid are marine mollusks related to cuttlefish and the octopus. They are deep-ocean dwellers that can grow to at least 10 m (33 ft) for males and 13 m (43 ft) for females, although there are undocumented reports of specimens of up to 20 m (66 ft).
The giant squid is believed to be the second largest squid after the Colossal Squid [2007 update: Colossal Squid found alive!], which lives in the Southern Ocean. No one has ever seen a live colossal squid, which is the world’s largest invertebrate.