Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Giant Squid - coming on Discovery Channel!

Not many years ago, Richard Ellis, writing on the subject of giant squid being taken for "sea serpents," notes one problem was a lack of comparative observations: "No one has ever seen a healthy giant squid doing anything." While we now have video of a hooked squid and various other observations, what we still don't have is video of Architeuthis hunting in its natural habitat.  Well, now we do, and it's coming to Discovery Channel on January 27.  The squid was about three meters long and was videotaped at a depth of 640 meters.  (It would be "more giant" than 3m, but it was missing its two long tentacles, presumably bitten off by a whale or shark.)  A Japanese expedition got the footage by using a custom-designed camera that operated on a wavelength of light that squid can't see. 
Here's the question we still don't have the answer to: how giant does the giant squid get? Confirmed lengths  of 18-20 meters are probably not the uppermost end of the scale. There are several 25-30m claims, and one of nearly 55m (OK, I'm writing that one off.)  But the appellation "giant" still fits in any case.

Tune in!

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