Dissecting a massive squid: live

Ever seen a colossal squid dissected? Me neither. In fact, few biologists have glimpsed an intact specimen of the rare and elusive linkurl:squid;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/14392/ species, much less observed one being probed and prodded on the dissection table. That's the reason a webcast beaming from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa recently caught my attention. Scientists there are defrosting a colossal squid that fishermen pulled from the icy waters of the Ross Se

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Apr 27, 2008
Ever seen a colossal squid dissected? Me neither. In fact, few biologists have glimpsed an intact specimen of the rare and elusive linkurl:squid;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/14392/ species, much less observed one being probed and prodded on the dissection table. That's the reason a webcast beaming from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa recently caught my attention. Scientists there are defrosting a colossal squid that fishermen pulled from the icy waters of the Ross Sea off Antarctica last year. The colossal squid, __Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni__, is the largest ever caught, tipping the scales at about 495 kilograms and measuring about 10 meters long. By comparison, the giant squid (__Architeuthis__ sp.) is estimated to reach a maximum weight of only 276 kilograms and an average length of about five meters. Scientists estimate that colossal squids could reach 15 meters in length. The colossal squid has been frozen in a giant block of ice since...

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