Thursday, February 22, 2007

A Colossal Colossal Squid

New Zealand fishermen have hauled up the largest-ever-landed specimen of a true "sea monster" - the colossal squid, Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni. The animal, which was snagged while trying to eat a Patagonian toothfish off a hooked line, was estimated at 12 meters long with a mass of 450 kilograms. Dr. Steve O'Shea, one of the world's leading teuthologists, had this to say: “I can assure you that this is going to draw phenomenal interest. It is truly amazing."
The colossal squid is not to be confused with the giant squid, Architeuthis dux, which reaches greater lengths but is not as heavily built. It has been estimated the M. hamiltoni may grow as long as 14m, while A. dux has been verified at 18m and reported at up to half again as long.

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