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

Giant Squid

“Architeuthis dux”

The Giant Squid is the largest of all known squid species and the largest invertebrate on the planet. It is believed that it inhabits all oceans of the world. So far, it has been discovered in the Atlantic & Pacific Oceans, Gulf of Mexico, Sea of Japan, Bering Sea and off the coasts of California, Hawaii & Oregon. The Giant Squid is one of the most mysterious creatures because it lives in very deep and cold water which is not easily accessible for scientists and divers. Until recently, most of the data known about the Giant Squid was based on the carcasses that appear from time to time on the beaches around the world.

Interesting Facts
*  The Giant Squid is one of the biggest animals on the planet. The largest specimen had 59 feet in length and almost 1 ton of weight. It was a female, which are normally larger than males. Average size of the male is around 33 feet and 440 pounds in weight.
*  Giant Squids can be longer than a school bus.
*  The Giant Squid has large head, 8 arms and 2 tentacles used for grabbing of the prey.
*  The Giant Squid has strong jaws which are shaped like a parrot beak.
*  The diet of the Giant Squid consists of other squids, fish and shrimps. Scientists believe that the Giant Squid can attack and eat small whales.
*  Tentacles are equipped with 4 rows of suction cups with hooks which facilitate catching of the prey. Once they catch the prey, tentacles transport it to the arms which deliver the food to the mouth. Although numerous, 10 feet long arms are not used for the catching of the prey.
*  Although Giant Squids look like monsters which aggressively hunt & kill their prey, they are actually ambush predators who rather wait for the prey to appear on its own. They do not seek for food actively because they need to preserve the energy.
*  Since Giant Squids live on the depth of 3,000 to 6,000 feet, they have huge eyes which enable them to detect objects in the light-less ambient. The eye of the Giant Squid is on the average 10 inches in diameter, about the size of the beach ball.
*  Giant Squids move like all other Cephalopods by rapidly expelling the water from their mantle. Due to their size, they can expel a lot of water which make them one of the fastest squids in the sea.
*  The only known predator of the Giant Squid is the Sperm Whale.
*  Just like other squids, Giant Squids are able to release ink which masks the trails and facilitates its escape. Some produce and release luminescent ink.
*  A group of the Giant Squids are called a school.
*  Males reach sexual maturity before females. Although mating between Giant Squids has never been recorded, scientists believe that male delivers (injects) sperm into the ventral arms of the female and that she stores it until the time of spawning.
*  The length of the male Giant Squid’s reproductive organ equals the length of its body excluding the head.
*  Giant Squids do not live long. Females die immediately after spawning at the age of 3 years.