Nature Discovery – Giant Squid

Thanks to Discovery News for this latest update about one of the strangest creatures on the planet – and one we know little about – the giant squid.


“The recent unprecedented video footage of a giant squid filmed in its deep ocean habitat has renewed interest in the enormous — and yet still mysterious — species.


“It’s believed that giant squid (genus Architeuthis) can grow up to 55 feet long. The individual captured on video via a small submarine located in the North Pacific Ocean was about 30 feet long and silver and gold in color, marine biologist Edie Widder, who helped to shoot the footage, said. Her colleague Tsunemi Kubodera added that the squid was missing its two longest tentacles.

“In recent months, researchers have also learned more about giant squid eyes. The diameter of these eyes measures two to three times that of any other animal.


“Dan-Eric Nilsson of Lund University determined that giant squid eyes measure 10 inches, making them about the same size as a large dinner plate. Big is optimal for sight in deep-water environments.


“For seeing in dim light, a large eye is better than a small eye, simply because it picks up more light,” Nilsson said, explaining that the light isn’t from the sun, but rather from bioluminescence emitted by other deep sea species, such as huge and hungry sperm whales.


“This bioluminescence, he explained, is “light produced by small gelatinous animals when they are disturbed by the whale moving through the water. It is well known that bioluminescence can reveal submarines at night, and diving sperm whales will become visible for the same reason.”


“Bioluminescence even played a key role during the recent filming in about 3,000 feet of water near Japan. Widder, Kubodera and their crew used a lure that mimicked the bioluminescent display of jellyfish in order to attract the giant squid’s attention.


“The giant squid, “Architeuthis” to scientists, is sometimes described as one of the last mysteries of the ocean, being part of a world so hostile to humans that it has been little explored.


“Researchers say Architeuthis eats other types of squid and grenadier, a species of fish that lives in the deep ocean. They say it can grow to be longer than 10 meters.


Discovery Channel’s Monster Squid: The Giant Is Real, premieres on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 10/9c as the season finale of Curiosity.”

Don’t know about you, but I plan to tune in to learn more about giant squid,  the deep sea monster believed to have been the basis for Nordic legends about creatures known as ‘the Kraken.’

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