Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Biggest Squid Caught Probably Just a Kid

In recent weeks, the biggest squid ever caught has captured imaginations and hundreds of headlines. The monster, caught by fishermen off Antarctica, is 33 feet long and weighs over 1000 pounds. It also has the largest eyes of any creature on earth and "tentacles tipped with up to 25 rotating hooks that can swivel 360 degrees," reported TIME.

Researchers expect to find this giant to be as strange on the inside as
other squid: three hearts, blue (copper-based) blood, a tongue covered in barbs and "an espophagus which drains through the middle of its doughnut-shaped brain."

This is a rare find. While legends of giant squid stretch back for centuries, the first recorded sighting was in 1925. Since then, TIME reports, just a "handful" have been recovered. And so far, a male has not been found. (Could these creatures behave like black widows?)

Most intriguing of all, the latest specimen only has a 42mm beak. Since beaks as big as 49mm have been found in the stomach's of sperm whales, there are much bigger squid out there waiting to be discovered.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.