[News]: Largest ever giant squid specimen found??

Discussion in 'Physiology and Biology' started by Steve O'Shea, Aug 22, 2004.

  1. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    It's been a while since we posted here (and been a while since I've had a giant squid en route), but one is being picked up for us today. :)

    Not sure of details yet, other than ~ 4m long (so it will be without tentacles), but as soon as I get it, or pics of it, I'll post 'em online.

    Marvelous Department of Conservation staff here in New Zealand are going out of their way to lug this monster back for me! Let's have a show of hands for the NZ DOC :thumbsup:
     
  2. Phil

    Phil Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Looks like your new squid has hit the news, Steve. Is this another one, though? The report stated that it was found yesterday and measures 5.7m, but the example you mentioned on Sunday you thought probably measured about 4m. This one also has tentacles in the picture.


    http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3013004a11,00.html



    [​IMG]
     
  3. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    One and the same Phil. It's not that often that something gets larger than first reports, and its condition gets better. This is truly one monstrous beast, and appears to be in very good condition.

    I'm 'rather interested' in finally laying my hands on this one; if it is, as reported (in other correspondence) 300 +/- 20kg (truck scales), then it is heavier than the 275kg 39-foot specimen I received ~ 5 years earlier, a fully mature female.

    I don't believe that the tentacle clubs are intact (it would be considerably longer if this was the case), probably 12-13 metres. It's hard to estimate the mantle length of the specimen - I don't know the people in the photographs - but it's probably upwards of 1.8 metres (2.25 metres is the longest I've had so far).

    We have something extraordinary planned for this specimen, but that will not become apparent for over a year. The 'autopsy', as reported, will not be invasive, but will limit itself to an examination of external anatomy, to determine whether the specimen is/is not a trawler discard, its sex, and whether it has mated (and is spent) or not. This is one of those priceless specimens that must not be dissected.
     
  4. Phil

    Phil Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Steve, now that you must have had a good luck at the new specimen, is this brief news report accurate in its claim that this is the largest specimen ever discovered? Or is this the usual press hyperbole?

    http://xtramsn.co.nz/news/0,,3762-3644914,00.html
     
  5. cthulhu77

    cthulhu77 Titanites Supporter

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    "Dr. SOS is quoted as saying:"this is by far the grandest giant squid I have ever seen, and I would be looking at it more, but I have to get ready for my Neil Diamond concert."
     
  6. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    :shock: That mantle is huge! Thanks for posting Phil... What a pic.

    PS -- I've split this from the "Never a dull moment in NZ" thread; this seems to deserve it's own!
     
  7. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Ja, it's true. Weighed it a couple of days back, 1st on a pellet, 300kg. The pellet weighed 46kg, giving us a 254kg squid. It's coming in at 5.7m, but the two inordinately long tentacles are missing (just a couple of metres of tentacle base present). We've easily lost 2 x 7-8m lengths of tentacle (14-16m combined tentacle length), and a couple of bits of arm, that would, if complete, take this animal over the 275kg maximum I maintain for the female of the species (the recent specimen would have been 280-285kg, if intact); the 275kg specimen was completely intact!!

    It really is a monster!! It's total length would have been ~ 14-15m, if intact. Unfortunately the 300kg figure was picked up - hence my dwelling on it - but you can imagine the absolute ballsup there would have been if the press tried to explain pellet weight, or do arithmetic (too many words, confusion ....for such a small piece)!

    It's back in the freezer now and will be pulled out for more detailed 'work' in October.

    There are, of course, the '20m' specimens recovered from NZ back in the 1880's, and the numerous reports of 1-ton giant squid out there, but pleeeeeeeze let's not have that BS discussion ever again! They are always estimates!! And the 1880's NZ specimens were paced (and this is written in the old "Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand" papers in which they were described, and are ex sperm whale stomach contents, regurgitated under stress [harpoon], partially digested, and with tentacles stretched like rubber bands).

    To indicate how hard it is to estimate the weight of these things - I looked at the recent lump and guessed 175kg. I was way out (and the scales we're using are horrifically expensive, with 3 separate measurements on the scales, with pellet, giving 300, 300 and 300kg)!!! It is unfortunate that the weight wasn't 299 or 301kg, because 300 on the nose [with pellet] makes it sound like an estimate.

    I'd like to hear of any truly heavier specimen!! That's # 119 to go on the scales - and that's a lot of squid.
     
  8. TPOTH

    TPOTH Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Indeed such a round figure (and i'm not talking about me) makes the whole thing slightly unbelievable but here it is:

    [​IMG]

    And yes... I'm aware this proves nothing as this could be any scale ;)
    You just gonna have to trust me on this :twisted:

    TPOTH
     
  9. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    :shock:

    So that's what you were doing!! Great pic - nothing like a little 'proof'.
     
  10. Infusoria

    Infusoria Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Well I would have been there, but I had to teach a 1st year lab :cry:

    If I were, then I would have posted some pics of the giant squidcicle. Mind, it is a very impressive scale... I've not seen the like since the giant scale of '77.

    Back in the day, when we had to bang rocks together to get the zeros and ones...

    :P

    I'm just jealous really.
     

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