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the Legacy continues…………………….
Gregory R. Mann, Ph.D. {ret.}

Colossal Squid

“Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni”

The Colossal Squid is one of the largest, most elusive and mysterious of the cephalopods. These massive squid are reported to measure up to 14 meters in total length, with mantle lengths of about 2-4 meters which would make adult Colossal Squid quite a bit larger than Giant Squid and they can weigh an estimated 150 kilograms. These amazing creatures were first identified in 1925, when 2 Colossal Squid arms were recovered from a Sperm Whale’s stomach. Since then, few specimens have been recovered and there is still very little known about this species. Colossal Squids have eyes that measure about 25 centimeters in diameter which are thought to be the largest eyes in the entire animal kingdom. They also have the largest beaks of any squid, which makes them a fearsome predator along with the 25 rotating hooks found in two rows on the ends of their tentacles.

Colossal Squids are a deep-water species, living usually deeper than 1,000 meters which makes it very difficult for scientists to gather data on them, though juveniles have been found above 1,000 meters to the surface. So far they have had to depend mostly on juvenile specimens caught by deep-sea trawlers. Colossal Squids have been found in waters surrounding the Antarctic, primarily south of 40°S. Colossal Squid have been known to prey on large fish species, including Patagonian Toothfish or Chilean Sea Bass caught on long-lines set by the fishermen. Sperm Whales are known predators of Colossal Squid in the southern oceans. Reproduction is thought to be similar to a related species, but it is actually unknown for Colossal Squids as no mature males or females have yet been collected or observed. Not enough is known on Colossal Squid populations to determine their conservation status and because of its remote habitat, this species is not considered dangerous to humans.

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